Theatre News

The Wiz revival at the Hope Mill Theatre full casting revealed

The hit musical returns!

The Wiz company
The Wiz company

Exclusive: Complete casting has been revealed for the upcoming revival of The Wiz, set to be reimagined in a Black British retelling.

Produced by Hope Mill Theatre (where it runs from November), Ameena Hamid Productions and Chuchu Nwagu Productions, the piece is a new twist on the multi-Tony Award-winning '70s musical, which is penned by Charlie Smalls and William F Brown and is based on L Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz.

Director Matthew Xia explained the production's approach in this radical new version: "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."

Musical supervisor and orchestrator Sean Green adds: "In thinking about how much the music is loved, I had the thought What if the music was a love letter to black music? I started hearing all sorts of music within the DNA of the score.

"This exploration has allowed me to incorporate various genres from across the African Diaspora in the new orchestrations which, alongside the funk and soul in the original, really adds depth and colour to the world that we're creating with this production."

Appearing will be Cherelle Wiliams (she/her, The Lion King) as Dorothy, Tarik Frimpong (he/him, Aladdin) as Scarecrow, Llewellyn Graham (he/him, making his professional debut) as Tin Man,
Jonathan Andre (he/him, The Lion King) as Lion, Cameron Bernard Jones (he/him, South Pacific) as The Wiz, Anelisa Lamola (she/her, The Color Purple) as Addaperle, Bree Smith (she/her, West Side Story) as Aunt Em and Glinda, Kofi Dennis (he/him, Romeo and Juliet) as Lord High and Ashh Blackwood (she/her, Horrible Histories) as Evillene.

The ensemble will feature Andile Mabhena (he/him), Shayna McPherson (she/her), Dylan Gordon-Jones (he/him), Samantha Shuma (she/her), Marisha Morgan (she/her).

Joining Xia on the creative team are musical director Ehsaan Shivarani, choreographer Leah Hill, designer Simon Kenny, associate costume designer Maybelle Laye, lighting designer Simisola Majekodunmi, sound designer Tony Gayle, casting director Ryan Carter and casting mentor Anne Vosser.

The show plays from 24 November to 16 January 2022, with tickets on sale now.

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The Wiz

Closed: 16 January 2022