Utterly fantastic Wizard of Oz!

After the success of previous productions including We Will Rock You, The Lion King, Through the Looking Glass and Billy Elliot, students at Banbury Academy this year took a trip down the yellow brick road as they performed the timeless classic – The Wizard of Oz!

Thirty talented students ranging from Year 7 to Year 13 made up the musical’s cast and team. The cast and team spent the last four months taking part in rehearsals consisting of acting, singing and dancing.  This year, the cast had a few extra surprises in store as they were joined on stage not only by a real dog as Toto, but also by the school’s principal, Sylvia Thomas, who played the role of the Wizard!

Ben Coleman, the school’s drama teacher, directed the musical whilst Head of Music, Lynda Webb, took charge of the vocals and the live band. “After the success of last year’s production of Through the Looking Glass, we were excited to give the students an exciting new challenge,” said Mr Coleman. “The cast and team were utterly fantastic during this entire process and wowed audiences throughout the 5 productions. We were so thrilled to have the Principal of Banbury Academy, Miss Thomas, joining the cast on stage. Having her on stage shows the school’s commitment and dedication to the arts and the theatre!” The production team was also made up of current students, with Year 13 student Amelia choreographing the production and Owen operating the sound. Ex students Luke Wetherill and Josh Lake also joined the team, with Luke as assistant director and Josh as lighting operator. “The team worked incredibly hard to create another exciting musical,” said Mr Coleman. “With talented performers, a live band, student technicians and numerous set designers, the students involved are a true testament to the talent on offer at Banbury Academy. We could not be more proud”

The story follows Dorothy as she is whisked away from Kansas to the magical world of Oz! Whilst avoiding the Wicked Witch of the West, Dorothy must travel down the yellow brick road to beg the Wonderful Wizard of Oz to get her home. With the help of The Scarecrow, The Tin Man and The Cowardly Lion, Dorothy must brave a number of obstacles if she is ever to return home to her beloved Aunt Em.

The Performing Arts Department are already planning next year's production. Watch this space!

Ben Coleman

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