Hope Mill Theatre has confirmed that it will stage a new UK production of The Wiz: The Super Soul Musical “Wonderful Wizard of Oz” this Christmas.

The production features music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls, based on the book by William F Brown and original orchestrations by Harold Wheeler.

The Wiz is a retelling of L. Frank Baum’s classic children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz , with the new production directed by Actor’s Touring Theatre’s Artistic Director and previous Royal Exchange Associate Artistic Director Matthew Xia.  The story reflects contemporary African-American cultures.  After Dorothy gets swept up in a tornado, she finds herself in the fantastical world of Oz. There, she makes new friends, battles evil witches, and seeks the aid of the all-powerful and mysterious Wiz. Ultimately, Dorothy finds that, if you believe with all your heart, you can always find your way home. The Wiz features a soul score, dynamic numbers, and endearing cast of characters.

The Wiz will be co-produced by Hope Mill Theatre alongside Ameena Hamid and Assistant Produce Chuch Nwagu.

Speaking about the production, Director Matthew 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!”

Co-Producer Ameena Hamid added, “With the aspiration it holds, ‘The Wiz’ is a show that is close to my heart and one that feels particularly important in the current moment. I am delighted to be working with the Hope Mill on this production and can’t wait to centre black joy and excellence both on and offstage. It feels like the perfect way to end the year of theatre’s return.”

When does The Wiz run at Hope Mill Theatre?

The Wiz runs at Hope Mill Theatre from 24 NOvember 2021 until 16 January 2022.

The Wiz – image courtesy Dujonna Gift-Simms and Christopher D Clegg