This London West End Theatre stage adaptation will be directed by acclaimed international director Ian Talbot OBE with choreography by Lizzi gee and innovative set and video designs by Ben M Rogers so bringing to life the movie magic on stage. The performances on July 1 and 2 will be at the Patticheon Theatre, Larnaca with the West End Theatre orchestra under the baton of Maestro Julian Reeve.
The story by L Frank Baum was partly inspired by the author’s love of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and by his desire to provide his four young sons with something more exciting to read.
The Oz is said to have been taken from a filing cabinet drawer labelled O-Z but his character of the Scarecrow had a real-life source. Outside Baum’s childhood home, there was a straw man dressed in a worn and faded blue suit and a tattered straw hat. He never got moved and we just ploughed and sowed around him every year. Although he wasn’t much use, no-one had the heart to move him. Then, one winter he was blown away.
The original preface to the book has a description of what Baum set out to create. “Folklore, legends, myths and fairy tales have followed childhood through the ages, for every healthy youngster has a wholesome and instinctive love for stories fantastic, marvellous and manifestly unreal.”
The story tells of little Dorothy Gale of Kansas who like so many girls of her age, dreams of what lies over the rainbow. One day, a tornado hits her farm and carries her away over the rainbow to the world of fascinating people – the Munichkins. There, Dorothy meets fairyland figures but she wants to return to Kansas fearing that her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry will worry about her. The Sorceress advises that only the great Wizard of Oz can help her get back. After many trials and tribulations, Dorothy and her friends finally meet the Wizard who is forceful and looks like a beast. After spells and ghosts, they realise that he is an ordinary man, and not a great best or powerful wizard. Nevertheless, he is able to grant everyone’s wishes and gives the Lion a medal to represent courage, the Tinman a watch to show his large heartedness, and the Scarecrow a diploma to signify graduation from advanced study. The Great Wizard then escorts Dorothy back to Kansas in his rocket ship.
The music is simply marvellous. Written by Harold Arlen and E Y Yip Harburg, Over the Rainbow won Academy Awards for the Best Music Song and Herbert Stothart, who wrote the instrumental underscore won an Academy for Best Original Score. In 1945, a stage play using songs from the 1939 film was adapted by Frank Gabrielson for the St Louis Municipal Opera.
Don’t miss this wonderful production with its fantastic costume and puppet designs for the opening of the 2011 Larnaca International Festival. Book online now www.cyprus-tickets.com or call 7000 9303.