Group to perform family favourite for anniversary

The New Taverham Players are putting on a production of The Wizard of Oz

The New Taverham Players are putting on a production of The Wizard of Oz - Credit: Archant

A Taverham amateur dramatics group is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a performance of a family favourite which has been around for 75 years.

The New Taverham Players will be following the Yellow Brick Road as they prepare for their next production, The Wizard of Oz, based on both the original book by L Frank Baum and the 1939 film starring Judy Garland.

'It seems fitting that in our own anniversary year, we are also able to put on a production that is celebrating its own milestone,' says producer Andrea Wilson. 'The Wizard Of Oz is a film that is loved all over the world, so we are making sure that our production lives up to those creative standards Hollywood set way back in 1939.

'We're also ensuring that with this production, the New Taverham Players begin celebrating their 40 years with a show that has delighted and entertained audiences even longer than we have.'

In 2015, the Players are set to celebrate their 40th anniversary and The Wizard of Oz begins a year-long season of celebratory events. The cast includes members of all ages, some of whom have been with the group since the very beginning.

Ms Wilson said: 'Traditionally at this time of year we produce a pantomime.

'We felt that as a group it was time for us to try something different, but still appeal to our end-of-year family audience. The Wizard Of Oz has always been one of my favourite films and so it seemed an obvious choice for our first December musical. We always produce a musical in May, so we are transferring some of these skills into our December production.'

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The Wizard Of Oz is a visually demanding show and the Players' backstage team have been working overtime to recreate the famous Yellow Brick Road, a cyclone and The Emerald City, as well as bringing to life such colourful characters as the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and the Wicked Witch Of The West.

Including well-known songs Somewhere Over The Rainbow and Follow The Yellow Brick Road, The Wizard of Oz runs from Monday, December 1 to Saturday, December 6, at Taverham Village Hall, with nightly shows at 7.30pm and a Saturday matinee at 2pm (sold out).

Tickets cost £7 (£6 concessions) and are available by phoning Chris and Julie at the box office on 01603 424313.