Search

Co-op Juniors get ready for showtime

PUBLISHED: 03:36 19 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:04 03 March 2010

WHILE Dorothy and her friends steal the show in the Wizard of Oz, it's not all about the cowardly lion, the scarecrow and the tin man. With a cast of more than 100 in the Co-op Juniors production, there are plenty of unsung heroes who don't necessarily hog the limelight.

WHILE Dorothy and her friends steal the show in the Wizard of Oz, it's not all about the cowardly lion, the scarecrow and the tin man. With a cast of more than 100 in the Co-op Juniors production, there are plenty of unsung heroes who don't necessarily hog the limelight.

One of the most interesting characters is the goose that Dorothy leaves behind when she gets swept up in the twister and transported to Munchkinland.

Co-producer Pauline Walker said: "It opens in Kansas and therefore it's a farmyard scene with lots of animals so we've used a cow and a goose."

Jeannie Ingram, who co-produces and co-directs the show along with Pauline Walker said:

"As well as a goose and a cow, there is also a dog in the farmyard scene and six baby gosling's who are played by some of the youngest members of the Co-op Juniors."

Adding a little dignity to the tale is the Mayor of Munchkinland played by ten-year-old Edward Love, who appeared as one of the main characters in last year's production of Peter Pan.

He is surrounded by more than 30 munchkins, who are all aged between six and 12.

In the 1939 film version of the Frank Baum classic tale, many of the characters played more than one role, but thanks to the sheer vastness of the Co-op juniors, this is something, which doesn't need to happen in 2001.

Jeannie Ingram said:

"We have got so many people, so to double-up parts would take away some of the smaller roles.

"The main characters are the ones that everyone knows and they carry it for the smaller characters to do their bit. They are just as important.

"In many ways we think the youngest person is the most special and we always treat everyone the same – there are no stars".

She said that Nigel Virley, who wrote this version of the classic tale, had lots of smaller characters in mind when he penned the adaptation.

"Its quite traditional that all the Co-op juniors performances have plenty of big musical numbers and these mean that many of the people playing smaller roles can get involved that way. In one scene at the witches castle there are lots of children playing bats, spiders and spooks."

The Wicked Witch of the North is not the only witch in the production. Keep your eyes peeled for an appearance by a couple more that help and hinder Dorothy along her way.

This is a story for young and old and brilliant for everyone in-between, with loads of magical effects, wonderful original music together with many old favourites and energetic dancing that all can enjoy.

With just a few days to go until curtain-up on the lavish production everything is set for the Co-op Juniors to steal the show, something which all the actors and actresses are keen to convey to the Regent crowd.

"One little boy was so excited by the show that he just didn't want to go home when we rehearsed on Sunday" added Jeannie Ingram.

n The Wizard of Oz is on at the Ipswich Regent from December 21 to 30. Telephone the Box office on 433100.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Ipswich Star