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Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Grantham’s company MJH Production’s new Wizard of Oz show

A musical production company will launch its next show with a chance to meet the team behind the vision next week.

MJH Productions has announced they will be tapping their ruby shoes together and following the Yellow Brick Road to St Wulfram’s Church in Grantham to put on their version of The Wizard of Oz next spring.

A launch event at the church at 7pm tomorrow (Tuesday, June 25) will give anyone interested in acting in, or helping out with, the show a chance to meet the team and gather more information about auditions and rehearsals. Refreshments will be available.

MJH Productions will be putting on The Wizard of Oz next year.
MJH Productions will be putting on The Wizard of Oz next year.

MJH Productions, led by professional actors who have trodden the boards in London, has previously put on Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph, and Oliver in town.

Producer Matthew Hewitt said this production would be “even bigger” than their previous shows, utilising the entire church for its set pieces and needing a bigger cast.

It will be directed by Adam Slepowronski.

Matthew said the show was chosen because it appeals to both young and old audiences, it's a family favourite with memorable songs and comedy, and it's the right show for St Wulfram’s.

The most recent performance was of Oliver!
The most recent performance was of Oliver!

“The show is huge, but we think it's the absolute right show to do for the company,” he said.

He mentioned it's colourful, uplifting, and fast-paced, making it a good choice after their previous, heavier show. Doing The Wizard of Oz would also capitalise on its success as a popular title being revived in a national tour.

“It’s uplifting, it’s bright, it’s fun, it’s colourful, it’s successful. It’s a juggernaut of a show, it doesn’t stop at any point, it just keeps moving along.”

The cast and crew of Joseph.
The cast and crew of Joseph.

He said it was a challenge to put on a show at St Wulfram’s, but that it was one the crew had met year-on-year, adding that St Wulfram’s was “incredibly supportive”.

“They always make us feel so welcome and the volunteers get involved as well, so we’re ever so grateful to work in that venue.”

Matthew said the previous shows had shown the quality of performers in the local area.

The church made for a stunning venue for the show.
The church made for a stunning venue for the show.

“Grantham isn’t that big of a place, yet we get a cast of 70, 80, 90 people and you look at them and think ‘wow’, we have superb performers around our local area, I’m always amazed.”

The launch event will include a run-through of some of the music and a singalong.

“It gives the potential cast time to see what we’re all about whilst being in the beautiful surroundings of St Wulfram’s, have a drink and something to eat,”

Numerous parts have been played over the years.
Numerous parts have been played over the years.

Auditions for the show will take place at Walton Academy from July, with rehearsals starting from September 8.

Matt said they would include read-throughs, possibly a song from the show and maybe a movement workshop to see how people move. However, he urged people to give it a go and not be too nervous.

He said it was about the journey to putting together an “incredible” piece of theatre and that there would be something for all levels of acting experience, noting that novices had sometimes got star roles but that support would be available to help and train them.

“Our job is to give you a brilliant experience during the show but it's also to train you so you come out of the process armed with more tools than when you went in,” he said.

Performances will take place between April 8 and 12.

If people can't attend, Matt said they should still express their interest in auditioning by emailing info@mjhproductionsgroup.com.

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