Theatre-goers are preparing to dance down the yellow brick road to North Creake for a special production of The Wizard of Oz, breaking the annual tradition of a spring pantomime.
The Creakes Drama Group will be staging six performances of the musical play to the soundtrack of the well-loved 1939 film, after copyright issues prevented them from performing the pantomime version of the L. Frank Baum stories.
The film that took audiences Somewhere Over The Rainbow is being brought to the stage by a close-knit cast of 30, and a further 20 members of the production team.
Husband-and-wife team, Karen and Tim Adams are taking on the roles of directing the production and designing sets for the show. Sarah Prince-White, who is in charge of props, found that her most difficult challenge was designing and producing a cauldron large enough to drown the witch.
Karen is taking up the role of director for the fourth time and is joined by experienced musical director Robert Hill, choreographer Helen Gibson, with Judith Kilburn in charge of costumes.
Karen said: “It’s been great fun working on this production with our fantastic musical director, and a fabulous choreographer and the cast and production team who have helped me enormously with the challenges of the script, numerous colourful costumes and make-up, the complicated props and a revolving bridge.
“There’s even a bit of scariness for children which they all love – but it is not too scary.”
Although boasting healthy numbers, the Creakes Drama Group are always looking to encourage younger actors and the chorus line for this production boasts seven children aged seven to 13.
It is the group’s 37th production with previous shows ranging from the Toad of Toad Hall and ‘Allo, ‘Allo to Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood, Terence Rattigan’s Separate Tables and their summer offering this coming June, Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit.
There will be four evening performances of the show, and two matinees, at North Creake Village Hall over two weekends. Showings start tonight and tomorrow from 7.30pm, and a matinee showing at 3.30pm tomorrow.
There will be a further two performances next Friday and Saturday from 7.30pm followed by another 3.30pm matinee showing on the Saturday. Doors open half an hour before each performance.
Tickets cost £10, with no concessions, and tickets can be purchased from Peter Autie on 07818 696660.
A spokesman for the group said: “We are a friendly Drama Group and always welcome interest from potential new members. If acting is not going to be your forte, then why not learn a new skill and train to become a lighting and sound technician, or a set builder, or help with the costumes, or in sourcing the props for the productions.
“There are many more behind the scenes jobs which are vital to the smooth running of a production and being involved with a friendly Drama Group is fun!”
To get involved and join the group, contact Diana Redman on 07808 920029.
The group’s next production is Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, which is to be staged at North Creake Village Hall at 7.30pm on Juney 12, 13 and 14. Tickets will be on sale from March.