Travel from Rugby to Oz with the help of young stars

Youngsters rehearsing for The Wizard of Oz, coming to the Benn Hall
Youngsters rehearsing for The Wizard of Oz, coming to the Benn Hall

Rugby theatregoers are invited to follow the yellow brick road to a magical land next week.

Five Star Theatre is staging The Wizard of Oz at the Benn Hall on Thursday, March 2, and Friday, March 3.

With a 45-strong cast of local performers, the show features many classic songs, including Over the Rainbow and The Merry Old Land of Oz.

The story follows Dorothy as she meets a Scarecrow in search of a brain, a Tinman without a heart and a cowardly Lion. With a Wicked Witch desperate for the magic ruby slippers, and Glinda the Good Witch who attempts to guide Dorothy along safely, Dorothy faces quite an adventure to make it back to Kansas.

Ethan J Smith, founder of Five Star Theatre and director/producer of the show, said: “It’s been an interesting and exciting experience, rehearsing this classic musical.

“We have a very large and hardworking cast of talented young performers, who are very much looking forward to taking to the stage.”

The show features seven performers from The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College – year 11 pupil Tom Wood, year 10 pupil Emily Gyles and year 7 pupils Emily Melia, Gracie Burcham, Sam Downey, Isabella Awang and Teagan Nuttall.

Alison Davies, headteacher, said: “It is wonderful to see a number of our students getting involved in this performance. Every student at our school has the opportunity to learn, and be involved, in dance, drama and music lessons and it is great to see that these students are involved in performing arts outside of school. I wish them all the best for what should be a super show.”

The show starts at 7.30pm on both nights. Tickets are £12 or £10 for concessions. Visit or call (01788) 533719 to book.