Wizard of Oz Begins Performances at London's Royal Festival Hall July 23

News   Wizard of Oz Begins Performances at London's Royal Festival Hall July 23 A new stage production of the family-friendly The Wizard of Oz begins previews July 23 at the Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall. Opening night for the limited engagement, which runs through Aug. 31, is scheduled for July 29.
Sian Brooke as Dorothy
Sian Brooke as Dorothy Photo by Alastair Muir

The cast boasts Siân Brooke as Dorothy with Adam Cooper as the Tin Man, Roy Hudd as the Wizard of Oz, Julie Legrand as the Wicked Witch of the West, Hilton McRae as the Scarecrow and Gary Wilmot as the Cowardly Lion.

Based on the classic 1939 film, John Kane's stage adaptation was originally written for the Royal Shakespeare Company and features Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg's classic songs from the film, including "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," "We're Off to See the Wizard" and "Follow the Yellow Brick Road." It is directed by Jude Kelly, artistic director of Southbank Centre, who previously directed the show at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds in 2002, when she was artistic director there.

Siân Brooke was recently seen in The Birthday Party at the Lyric Hammersmith. Other stage credits include In the Club (Hampstead), Dying City, Harvest, Just a Bloke and The One with the Oven (Royal Court), and RSC productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear and Poor Beck.

Adam Cooper, a former principal dancer with the Royal Ballet, made his name creating the now world-famous Swan in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake. As a musical theatre performer, he has also starred in Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre, starred in and choreographed On Your Toes at Royal Festival Hall, a dance version of Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Singin' in the Rain at Sadler's Wells.

Roy Hudd was most recently seen onstage in The Merry Widow for the English National Opera at the London Coliseum. Other theatre credits include starring in productions of Oliver!, Run for Your Wife, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Fantasticks, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Foum, The Solid Gold Cadillac, Hard Times and Underneath the Arches. Julie Legrand was most recently seen onstage in Fiddler on the Roof (Savoy Theatre). She has appeared in the films "One for the Road," "Prick up Your Ears" and "Water."

Hilton McRae's recent stage work includes Rabbit (Trafalgar Studios) and Caroline, or Change (National Theatre). He has also appeared in the West End productions of Mamma Mia!, Les Misérables and Miss Saigon.

Gary Wilmot recently toured in the musical Half a Sixpence. West End roles include appearing in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium), HMS Pinafore (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park), Barry Manilow's Copacabana (Prince of Wales) and Me and My Girl (Adelphi Theatre).

To book tickets contact the box office at 0871 663 2584 or visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk.

The cast of <i>Wizard of Oz</i>: Gary Wilmot, Adam Cooper, Si
The cast of Wizard of Oz: Gary Wilmot, Adam Cooper, Si Photo by Alastair Muir
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