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It's a whizz of a show

PUBLISHED: 12:36 23 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:14 11 August 2010

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was first published as a children s story more than 100 years ago. Written by Lyman Frank Baum for his sons in 1900, it was inspired by his own love of Grimms Fairy Tales. The name of Oz came when one of his sons asked wher

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was first published as a children's story more than 100 years ago.

Written by Lyman Frank Baum for his sons in 1900, it was inspired by his own love of Grimms' Fairy Tales.

The name of Oz came when one of his sons asked where the characters in his story lived. Baum's eye went to his office filing cabinet drawer storing some papers alphabetically from O-Z and OZ was born.

Newpalm Productions' traditional Christmas shows at The Palace Theatre, Southend, have appeal for all the family.

Local audiences have previously enjoyed festive productions of The Gingerbread Man, Pinocchio, and last year, Toad of Toad Hall.

Now the delightful tale The Wizard of Oz is brought back to life again by popular demand, beautifully staged and costumed.

The colourful characters journey along the Yellow Brick Road in comedy, song and dance - and with the audience joining in the fun throughout, a happy ending is guaranteed.

Dorothy, played by Lisa Cassidy - who delighted Palace audiences as Pinocchio a few years ago - will journey through the fairytale world with her friends, the Tin Man (Simon Spencer Hyde), the Scarecrow (Graham Boland), and Zach Vanderfelt as the cowardly Lion.

Well-known to Palace audiences, Zach's roles for Newpalm have been many and varied, but he will be best remembered for his pompous and endearing Mr Toad in Toad of Toad Hall last Christmas.

Sylvia Carson returns to the Palace to cover a variety of roles, re-creating the Good Witch again, to guide Dorothy on her eventful journey from Kansas to the Emerald City, plus guiding the company through rehearsals as both associate director and choreographer.

Lionel Chilcott takes a break from his many office duties as Newpalm's general manager, to play the Wizard.

Lucy Tuck will be playing the Wicked Witch of the West.

The Wizard of Oz is at The Palace, Southend, until January 4.

Tickets priced £9-£16.50 (family £43-£56), concessions available.

Phone the box office on 01702 351135.

www.palacetheatrewestcliff.org.uk


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