DOROTHY will follow not one but two Yellow Brick Roads in Pick Me Up Theatre's production of The Wizard Of Oz.

Artistic director Robert Readman has cast two leading ladies to share the lead role at the Grand Opera House, York, with performances being divided between seasoned company member Emily Chattle and Pick Me Up newcomer Anna Hale.

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The other Dorothy: Emily Chattle

Pick Me Up will stage the MGM musical from April 27 to May 5. "This version was a huge success when it was first staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1987 with Imelda Staunton as Dorothy," says the York company's publicist Joanna Hird.

"The show is faithful to the screenplay of the 1939 Technicolor classic starring Judy Garland and features all the wonderful songs from Over The Rainbow, Ding-Dong The Witch Is Dead and If I Only Had A Brain to We’re Off To See The Wizard and The Merry Old Land Of Oz.

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Stuart Rae as the Scarecrow. Picture: Matthew Kitchen

"The musical score is by Harold Arlen, with lyrics by Yip Harburg, and the pair won the Oscar for Best Original Song for Over The Rainbow, but did you know that song was almost deleted from the film as MGM thought the opening Kansas sequence was too long?!"

The RSC production at London’s Barbican Theatre, featuring a book by John Kane, reinstated songs and musical sequences cut from the final film, including a big dance number, The Jitterbug, where Dorothy and her friends are bitten by bugs that make them dance till they drop.

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Nick Lewis as The Lion. Picture: Matthew Kitchen

Emily Chattle and Anna Hale will be joined in Readman's cast by long-established York actor Ian Giles in his Pick Me Up debut as Professor Chester Marvel/The Wizard.

Alexandra Mather will play Aunt Em/Glinda and her evil counterpart, Almira Gulch/the Wicked Witch of the West, will be performed – unconventionally but with bags of potential for humour – by Adam Sowter, a man no stranger to comedic Pick Me Up parts.

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Unconventional casting: Adam Sowter as the Wicked Witch of the West. Picture: Matthew Kitchen

The roles of Dorothy's trusted friends have been entrusted to Stuart Rae as the Scarecrow, Joe McNeice as the Tinman and Nick Lewis the cowardly Lion, and the canine scene-stealer will be the rather fabulous Bertie Benjamin as Toto.

Readman's production team includes musical director Sam Johnson and choreographer Steph Lyons and the costumes come from the hit Sheffield Crucible production of The Wizard Of Oz.

Performances will start at 7.30pm on April 27; 2.30pm and 7.30pm, April 28; 7pm, April 30, May 1 and 2; 7.30pm, May 3 and 4; 2.30pm and 7.30pm, May 5. Box office: 0844871 3024 or at

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Joe McNeice as The Tinman. Picture: Matthew Kitchen