The Yellow Brick Road leads to the New Theatre in Peterborough

The New Theatre, Broadway photocall for the Christmas Panto, The Wizard of Oz. EMN-191030-153227009
The New Theatre, Broadway photocall for the Christmas Panto, The Wizard of Oz. EMN-191030-153227009

It’s almost time to follow the Yellow Brick Road all the way to the New Theatre in Peterborough to see this year’s Christmas panto The Wizard of Oz.

And some key members of the cast stopped off from their journey to see the wizard to launch the panto last week and prove there’s no place like Broadway.

Yes you will soon be able to get swept up in the story, as Dorothy makes her way through the Emerald City with her new-found friends Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man.

There will be plenty of magic in the air with Strictly Come Dancing champion Katya Jones (who was knocked out of the hit BBC1 show on Saturday night) playing Glinda the Good Witch.

The dastardly Wicked Witch of the West, Shane Convery, brings a new take on the character as a professional drag queen turns panto villain in the 30th panto-take on the iconic 80-year-old film.

Leah Pinney, who will star as Dorothy, describes how the New Theatre will be transformed and will have the wow factor.

“I am really looking forward to seeing the set in place. It will be amazing,” she said.

Leah plans on bringing a new side to the traditional character, adding: “There won’t be an American accent, we’re keeping it British and local to Peterborough.

“I think the character needs to feel modern so that little girls and boys can see themselves in Dorothy, rather than keeping it twee.”

Of course, Dorothy’s loveable companion Toto will be there, played by Tilly,

Toto is set to steal the show with her cuteness.

Despite playing the brainless Scarecrow, Samuel Freeman plans to bring plenty of comic experience to the role and is set to leave the audience in creases.

“I’m really looking forward to it, including the dancing, which is not my strongest string in my bow,” he said. “My favourite part is interacting with the kids, they say the funniest things!”

Thomas Cove, will be playing the cowardly Lion on the search for some courage, though it’s clear Thomas himself has great confidence in the production even if he is a bit of a scaredy-cat himself!

He said: “When I got the part, my fiance said: ‘You will get the five minute call to start and jump out of your skin, ready for the show’, I am a bit of a jumpy person so I’m looking forward to not having to hide that!”

Bringing the Tin Man out of his shell is Ben Brooker, who “doesn’t want him to be the typical Tin Man.”

He said: “With the audition I wanted to do something different, I gave the Tin Man a posh persona, a suave man, who doesn’t let the fact he is made out of tin bother him.”

All on a quest to find what they’re looking for, the cast are set to leave audiences on their feet.

With audience participation, jokes galore and some ‘Strictly surprises’ in store it’s promising to be not one to miss.

The Wizard of Oz will run from December 14 to December 31.

Tickets start from £12.50, and can be bought from the box office or newtheatre-peterborough.com