Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester
24th Nov to 16th Jan 2022
“Following its sold-out, critically acclaimed production of ‘Rent’, Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre in association with Ameena Hamid Productions announces the cast for a radical new version of the 70s musical The Wiz: The Super Soul Musical “Wonderful Wizard of Oz”.
Directed by Matthew Xia (‘Into the Woods’, Royal Exchange), The Wiz is a joyous retelling of L. Frank Baum’s classic children’s novel ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ reflecting contemporary African-American culture. Its 1975 Broadway premiere production won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Matthew Xia said: “The Wiz is approaching its 50th anniversary, it now exists within the canon of mainstream musicals and it’s due time for some bold reinvention. Originally a funk and soul-based analogy for the African-American experience, in 2021 Manchester we’re offering a contemporary take on the discovery of self-determination and Black joy with this celebration of Black culture across the African diaspora.”
Review by Richard Lambert, 5 Stars
This is my first visit to the Hope Mill Theatre and I’m so glad I took this trip out of London!
Everything about this show hits the mark! The cast, the lighting, the set, the directing – it’s all really well done! I didn’t mention the choreography cos this needs it’s own special mention! It was superb! A big cast in a small’ish performance space and not only is this a really dynamic show but the cast can all dance sooooo well! Well rehearsed with the unity and precision nailed! I always love big block dance numbers and these here are really exciting! Loved the mix of hip-hop, street, acrobatic and staging. This fabulous show is made even more brilliant by Leah Hill’s choreography!
Then there’s the singing – the principals have this down! Taking the roof off and thankfully without riffing!
The magic is good and the video content blends in and really enhances and amplifies exactly where it should!
I don’t usually give shout-outs to particular cast members cos that isn’t what this website is about, and the cast are all amazing! However, on this occasion I have to mention Charele Williams as Dorthy and Tarik Frimpong as the scarecrow cos they were exceptional in singing, dancing and performance!
It’s definitely worth venturing to Manchester to see this family show! A real treat for Christmas!
Photo Credit: Pamela Raith
Music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls
Book by William F. Brown
Based on The Wizard of Oz
by L. Frank Baum
by Harold Wheeler
Cast: Cherelle Wiliams is Dorothy; Tarik Frimpong, Scarecrow; Llewellyn Graham, Tin Man; Jonathan Andre, Lion; Cameron Bernard Jones, The Wiz; Anelisa Lamola, Addaperle; Bree Smith, Aunt Em & Glinda; Kofi Dennis, Lord High; Ashh Blackwood, Evillene. Ensemble: Andile Mabhena, Shayna McPherson, Dylan Gordon-Jones, Samantha Shuma, Marisha Morgan.
The show is produced by Hope Mill Theatre, Ameena Hamid Productions & Chuchu Nwagu Productions.
Creative team: Director Matthew Xia; Musical Supervisor and Orchestrations Sean Green; Musical Director Ehsaan Shivarani; Choreographer Leah Hill; Design Simon Kenny; Associate Costume Design Maybelle Laye; Lighting Design Simisola Majekodunmi; Sound Design Tony Gayle; Casting Director Ryan Carter; Casting Mentor Anne Vosser, Press Kevin Wilson PR.
Hope Mill Theatre
113 Pollard Street
Manchester M4 7JA
7.30pm, matinees Saturday and Sunday
Box Office: 0161 275 9141
(Tuesday – Friday 12pm-6:30pm)
Facebook: Hope Mill Theatre