Only a few days before show starts

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TRISH TAKES FIVE: By Trish Burgess

It’s just over a week to go before the yellow brick road will lead our cast, crew and audience to the South Holland Centre for the SADOS production of The Wizard of Oz.

These last few weeks have been an exciting mix of set-building, costume-adjusting and prop-gathering plus regular rehearsals to ensure we are all ready to put on a magical show.

The Wizard of Oz is a well-loved musical and fans of the original 1939 MGM movie won’t be disappointed as this 1987 RSC stage production is a very close match to the film. Many of the lines are the same, which has made my line-learning a little easier as I can just watch the video.

There is one addition to the musical which I’m delighted has made an appearance. In the film, the ‘Jitterbug’ song was recorded in the studio, but cut at the last minute. But this infectious dance number returns in this production, adding a great swing interlude to the proceedings.

We’re lucky enough to have two fabulous Dorothys in our show. Holly Whitaker and Abbie Schweikhardt were equally impressive at the auditions, so they are sharing the role, alternating performances. I can assure you that whichever night you are in the audience, you will be entranced by their rendition of the Oscar-winning ‘Over the Rainbow’.

There are a few familiar SADOS faces gracing the stage apart from me, but I’m delighted to say there are so many fresh faces in the group this year, all bringing their particular talents, whether singing, acting or dancing. This is what AmDram should be all about: inclusive and fun, recognising and nurturing local talent.

And I’m sure you’ll love our merry bunch of munchkins: a group of local children who have been a joy to work with and have turned their hands to extra roles in the production. I’m sure their families and friends will be just as proud of them as we are.

Dougie and I managed a couple of hours of scenery painting last weekend. We joined the hard-working crew who have given a massive amount of their time to create the Emerald City, the witch’s castle and Munchinkinland. As always, these are the unsung heroes of any production and yet without them, we wouldn’t have a show.

As for me, my broomstick has just passed its MOT and is ready to take me to the theatre as the Wicked Witch of the West. It’s worth noting that this witch is nothing like Elphaba, the misunderstood character from the musical, Wicked. My witch is an out-and-out baddie, with no redeeming features, bar a warped sense of humour.

SADOS would love you to support our show, so if you fancy being transported to ‘The Merry Old Land of Oz’, you can buy your tickets from the South Holland Centre in person, by phone 01775 764777 or online www.southhollandcentre.co.uk. The show runs from May 17 to 20, 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2pm.