Andrew Lloyd Webber’s major new production of The Wizard of Oz starts previews tonight at the London Palladium, starring Danielle Hope and Michael Crawford.

Danielle Hope and Michael Crawford, stars of The Wizard of Oz

Danielle Hope and Michael Crawford, stars of The Wizard of Oz

The multi-million pound production, which features songs from the Oscar-winning movie plus specially written new songs by Lloyd -Webber and Tim Rice, gets its official opening night on 1 March 2011.

The show stars Danielle Hope, who won the BBC talent show Over the Rainbow to become Dorothy in the new production.

Director the show, Jeremy Sams, said earlier this week that newcomer Danielle Hope is “marvellous” as Dorothy and, “she makes total sense on the stage. She is the calmest professional I have ever worked with.”

Also starring in the show is theatre veteran Michael Crawford, who is reuniting with Andrew Lloyd Webber 24 years after playing the original Phantom of the Opera to play The Wizard of Oz, Hannah Waddingham (Into The Woods) as the Wicked Witch of the West, Paul Keating (Tommy) as Scarecrow, Edward Baker Duly (Copacabana) as Tin Man, David Ganly (Chicago) as Cowardly Lion and Emily Tierney (All the Fun of the Fair) as Glinda.

The cast also includes Over The Rainbow runner-up Sophie Evans covering the part of Dorothy on Tuesdays and when Ms Hope is on holiday.

The team behind the 2006 revival of The Sound of Music is creating the show, including director Jeremy Sams, designer Robert Jones and choreographer Arlene Phillips.

Book tickets to The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium.

LINKS

Photos: The Wizard of Oz rehearsals

Over The Rainbow fan pages