We're Off to See the Wizard!

We're Off to See the Wizard!

Here at Visit Fylde Coast we’ve had ear worms this week because “We’re off to see the Wizard” (sorry, you will now too!)

We’re off to See the Wizard – at the Winter Gardens Show Launch Event

It’s Wednesday 29 September 2018 and we’re at the launch of the Christmas show at Blackpool Winter Gardens.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love living and working here! It’s amazing being able to be part of the whole machine that makes Blackpool and the Fylde Coast work. I like to play my own little part in helping to promote all the things that there are to see and do here. Plus which (witch?) the Wizard of Oz is one of my all time favourites, so how could I not?

Here are the children (below) from St Teresa’s Primary School, Revoe Learning Academy and Lea Community Primary in Preston, who joined me on the front rows.

We're off to see the Wizard. Christmas show launch at Blackpool Winter Gardens
Children from Lea Community Primary in Preston
We're off to see the Wizard. Christmas show launch at Blackpool Winter Gardens
Children from St Teresa’s Primary School in Blackpool
We're off to see the Wizard. Christmas show launch at Blackpool Winter Gardens
Children from Revoe Learning Academy

With Stacey from Radio Wave making introductions, in came the cast, including all of the ‘humans’ except the Lion who is apparently on holiday! Holly Tandy, X Factor sensation and ‘Dorothy’ for 2018, set the scene with a beautiful rendition of ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’.

Holly Tandy sings Somewhere Over the Rainbow, from Wizard of Oz, Christmas 2018 show at Blackpool Winter Gardens

We’re Off to See the Wizard – with two Toto’s too!

Never mind the humans, the stars of the show of course are Teddy and Pascha, the two little Toto’s. They were chosen in the auditions from the many applicants and joined the panel on the top table. They were both impeccably behaved, but having pooches of my own I know that mid afternoon is nap time!

We're Off to See the Wizard!
Pascho, one of the two Totos’ performing a trick or two

It’s the first time performing for both of them and their first stage role. Pascha (above) was put on the spot and did a few tricks for the audience, rolling over, crawling and playing dead. We’ve managed to teach our greedy Mr Muffin to do a few simple tricks in exchange for a treat. Knowing how difficult that’s been, and how confused he can get in his enthusiasm for the next bit of treat, I don’t envy them the job of dog training!

And Holly made a good point. What if one of them does a doo-doo on the stage? A shout from the back answered ‘we’ll give you some bags’, which I must say made me smile! She thinks she’ll dodge round any ‘accidents’ and ignore them. I’m not so confident – but it could be a good bit of publicity if there were a competition for whose to see the first one! #accidentspotted

Christmas Show + Blackpool = Happy Actors

Holly is super excited to be playing the part – she’s the same age that Judy Garland was when she starred in the famous film. That’s always been my firm Christmas (and rainy days) favourite, I’ve made my long-suffering family watch it dozens of times.

Kelvin Fletcher (or Andy from Emmerdale) spent many a happy holiday in Blackpool as a child and he’s hoping that Blackpool is as kind to him this year as it was back then. In fact all of the cast were of the same opinion that Blackpool and ‘the north’ is such a friendly place with great people. Of course we know that but then I suppose you could say that we’re biased!

We're off to see the Wizard. Christmas show launch at Blackpool Winter Gardens
Cast of the Christmas Christmas show at Blackpool Winter Gardens, with Stacey from Radio Wave

It’s a shame that we didn’t know about the photoshoot that they’d previously done on the promenade. It’s a windy day today here in Blackpool (aren’t they all) so the Scarecrow lost quite a lot of bits of straw, and the Tin Man struggled to walk in a gale!

Rehearsals for the show for the humans begin in November, but the two Toto’s are already learning their lines.

This production is an adaptation of an RSC version. The Wizard of Oz that’s coming to Blackpool is very close to the original Frank L Baum version which is such a firm favourite with people of all ages. I’m pleased about that, I don’t know about you but it really irritates me when either a film or a book is as famous as this is, and it’s adapted in a totally different way.

In the 12 months since X Factor, Holly’s been writing and performing. She’s leaning towards Country music for her future career, rather than being ‘the same as everybody else’.

And one final thing. Did you know that Dorothy had silver shoes in the book and red ones in the film? No I didn’t either!

Tickets are on sale now, BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE

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