Reimagined for a contemporary audience, THE WIZ is a glorious celebration of self-determination, self-empowerment, and Black culture.
Hope Mill Theatre stage the first new UK production of THE WIZ in 10 years, bringing this award-winning Broadway musical to life this Christmas.
Based on L. Frank Baum’s much-loved classic, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, THE WIZ follows Dorothy, a shy young woman struggling with her identity who finds herself magically transported to the urban fantasy Land of Oz.
Befriended by a Scarecrow, a Tin Man, and a Cowardly Lion, Dorothy embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she attempts to find her way back home.
Reimagined and reinvented for a contemporary audience, THE WIZ is a glorious celebration of self-determination, self-empowerment, and Black culture.
Combining spectacle with soulful singing, Matthew Xia’s fast pacing ensures there’s never a dull moment in this joyful musical.
Simon Kenny’s bright, bold graffiti-style set and Simisola Majekodunmi’s inventive lighting design work wonderfully together to bring the colourful world of Oz to life.
In the lead role of Dorothy, Cherelle Williams perfectly embodies the innocence, naivety, and enthusiasm of the character, and her rendition of Believe In Yourself stands out as a highlight of the show.
Tarik Frimpong is excellent as the Scarecrow, cleverly using physical movement to tell his story, while Llewellyn Graham makes an impressive professional debut as the soulful Tinman.
Jonathan Andre oozes style as the cowardly Lion, his playfulness and excellent comic timing winning over the audience from the moment he steps on stage.
All the cast are excellent here, from Cameron Bernard Jones as the super sassy The Wiz to Anelisa Lamola, Bree Smith and Ashh Blackwood as the three witches of Oz.
A special mention must go to Leah Hill, whose stunning choreography keeps the energy high and provides plenty of wow moments.
Sean Green’s orchestrations of the funk, soul and gospel-inspired score is equally superb, with EASE ON DOWN THE ROAD, the wicked witch’s diva number NO BAD NEWS and the gorgeous ensemble song EVERYBODY REJOICE all standing out.
Entertaining, energetic, and brimming with talent, THE WIZ is the perfect Christmas show to blow away those winter blues.
THE WIZ runs at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester, until 16 January 2022
Donna is the Founder and Editor of Frankly, My Dear UK. By day, she works as a digital marketing specialist, by night she reviews film, theatre and music for a wide range of publications including WhatsonStage and The Reviews Hub. Loves Formula 1, prosecco and life.