Theatre News

The Wiz musical revival announces full creative team

The show issued a casting call a couple of weeks ago

The Wiz
The Wiz
© Photography by Dujonna Gift- Simms, poster design by Christopher D Clegg

The Wiz, set to be revived at the Hope Mill Theatre and co-produced alongside Ameena Hamid and Chuchu Nwago Productions from November, has revealed its creative team.

Based on L Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the show follows Dorothy as she is whisked away to the land of Oz where she encounters a cavalcade of characters.

As reported, there will be open auditions for the piece later this month – in London on 19 June and in Manchester on 26 June.

Originally opening on Broadway in 1975 and running for four years, The Wiz has music and lyrics by Charlie Small, Timothy Graphenreed, Harold Wheeler, George Faison and Luther Vandross, with a book by William F Brown. It was adapted for the big screen in 1978 starring Diana Ross as Dorothy.

Directed by Matthew Xia, the creative team features musical supervisor and orchestrator Sean Green, choreographer Leah Hill, with poster photography by Dujonna Gift- Simms and poster design by Christopher D Clegg. Casting is by Anne Vosser Casting in association with Ryan Carter.

Joining them will be designer Simon Kenny (Sweeney Todd, Harrington's Pie & Mash Shop, West End and Off Broadway), associate costume designer Maybelle Laye (Intimate Apparel,), lighting designer Simisola Majekodunmi (Herding Cats) and sound designer Tony Gayle (Get Up Stand Up).

Xia said: "I can't wait to return to Manchester, my former home, to create the all singing all dancing extravaganza that is The Wiz at the exceptional Hope Mill Theatre. We're pulling together an outstanding team including musical supervisor Sean Green and choreographer Leah Hill to reimagine this classic funk, soul (and now afrobeat!) infused story of self-discovery, determination and Black joy. Everybody rejoice!"

Carter added: "The creating of black theatre can be just as rewarding as the watching of it. What we're offering performers to be part of is such a rare and exciting opportunity and we're really excited to throw the net as far and wide as possible. Many professional iterations of The Wiz draw from the current generation of artists, and allow them to artistically imprint on their characters, which is why we're so keen to see black excellence from every possible iteration of our art form."