Click your heels together and join Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy and her little dog Toto, as they journeyed through the magical land of Oz to meet the Wizard and obtain their heart’s desires! No doubt you have heard of the saying “Never work with children or animals” well PMOS are very glad that they decided to ignore this advice and incorporate both in this production. 2008 marked the 100th anniversary of PMOS and what better way to celebrate the Centenary than embarking on a magical adventure from start to finish, a joy to rehearse and a credit to the members past and present.
“PMOS attained its Centenary with a fine production of the RSC version of “The Wizard of Oz”. This was certainly the show to involve as many society players as possible and of all ages. There was a huge number of Citizens of Oz, withthe Wizard’s Team of Munchkins and the Oz Team playing on alternative nights. There were also the Winkies and such extraordinary characters as Crows, Trees, Poppies, and Snowflakes. What a thrill for those young ones! Lorna McAtasney took the leading role as Dorothy, with Hayley (stage name Toto) playing yerself as Dorothy’s white terrier. The Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion were all there in the substantial forms of Martyn Agnew, Iain Condie and Andrew Rodger. And of course there were the two Witches – Glinda the Good Witch (Jocelyn Nelson) and the Wicked Witch of The West (Sam McClelland) with interesting pyrotechnics which put Scarecrow in fear of his straw! Norman MacMillan was the Wizard (with real beard) and the redoubtable Robbie Menzies took the part of the fierce Guard. The show was very enjoyable, with excellent characterisations and singing. The enthusiasm of the cast, young, medium and mature alike shone through to make this a most memorable contribution to the Centenary Year.” Ian Gray, NODA News Scotland, May 2008
A teenage girl, Dorothy Gale, lives on a farm in Kansas with her Aunt Em, Uncle Henry and little dog Toto. Feeling unappreciated, she dreams of a far away place (“Over the Rainbow”). Miss Gulch, their unpleasant neighbor, serves Dorothy with a summons to take Toto away. Toto escapes from Miss Gultch’s bicycle basket, and Dorothy runs away from home with her dog. On the road, they find the showman, Professor Marvel, who urges her to return to the farm. Dorothy arrives home, just as a tornado touches down. She and Toto are locked out of the storm cellar. In her house, Dorothy is accidentally hit on the head.
The house is carried by the tornado to the Land of Oz. Dorothy meets the Munchkins and Glinda, the Good Witch of the North (who resembles Aunt Em). Her house has fallen upon, and killed, the Wicked Witch of the East. This frees the Munchkins from the witch’s power, and they treat Dorothy as their heroine (“Come Out, Come Out”; “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead”). The Wicked Witch of the West (who resembles Miss Gulch) arrives to claim her sister’s magic ruby slippers and vows to avenge her death. Glinda has already put the slippers on Dorothy’s feet, further infuriating the witch. Dorothy wants to go home to Kansas. The Munchkins tell her that the wonderful the Wizard of Oz will know what to do (“Follow the Yellow Brick Road”). Dorothy starts off towards the Emerald City.
Dorothy and Toto meet three strange traveling companions, each of whom needs help: The Scarecrow’s head is full of stuffing (“If I Only Had a Brain”). The rusty Tin Man’s chest is empty (“If I Only Had a Heart”) and the Cowardly Lion is afraid of his own tail (“If I Only Had the Nerve”). Dorothy invites them all to join her to see if the Wizard can help them (“We’re Off to See the Wizard”). The Wicked Witch of the West threatens Dorothy, Toto and her new companions along the way but fails to intimidate Dorothy into giving up the ruby slippers. The witch creates a beautiful field of poppies, but their scent is poisonous. Glinda rescues the travelers by covering the poppies with snowflakes (“Optimistic Voices”). The travelers finally reach the Emerald City.
The Emerald City’s Gatekeeper tries to discourage the adventurers, but they are persistent and gain entry (“The Merry Old Land of Oz”). They are washed, combed and buffed, but the Wizard refuses to meet them. The Wicked Witch makes another ominous appearance, and the lion wishes more than ever for courage (“If I Were King of the Forest”). Finally taken to see the fearsome Wizard, the four friends are given a quest to prove themselves worthy of the Wizard’s assistance: they must bring him the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West, and the only way to do that would be to kill her.
The friends leave in fear and haste for the land of the Winkies (whom the Wicked Witch has enslaved and forced to serve in her army) and the witch’s castle (“March of the Winkies”). In a haunted forest, the jitterbugs make the travelers dance until they all collapse from exhaustion (“The Jitterbug”). The Wicked Witch’s flying monkeys then attack, swooping away with Dorothy and Toto. But the witch still does not have the power to take the ruby slippers off of Dorothy’s feet (“Over the Rainbow” – Reprise). Toto manages to escape and help the Scarecrow, Tinman and Lion to find Dorothy. The three disguise themselves in Winkie uniforms and sneak into the castle. They find Dorothy, but the Wicked Witch foils their escape. The Wicked Witch attacks the Scarecrow with fire, and Dorothy throws a bucket of water at him, accidentally dousing the witch. The witch screams, steams and melts into nothing (“Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead” – Reprise). The friends take the broom back to the Emerald City.
The Wizard is again reluctant to meet Dorothy and friends. Toto pulls aside the curtain behind which the Wizard is reveals as an ordinary man (who resembles Professor Marvel) using a microphone to make his voice impressive. Nevertheless, the Wizard is able to help the adventurers. He conducts a graduation exercise, awarding to the Scarecrow a doctorate of Thinkology; appoints the Lion as a member of the Legion of Courage; and presents the Tinman with a heart-shaped ticker – a watch. Finally, he reveals that he is from the prairies himself and offers to give Dorothy a ride back to Kansas in a hot-air balloon. It takes off while Dorothy is distracted, and she is afraid that she missed her chance to go home, but Glinda arrives. She says that Dorothy has the power to transport herself and Toto by clicking her heels together three times and repeating “there’s no place like home”.
Dorothy wakes up in Kansas, with a bump on her head. The tornado has passed. Miss Gulch broke her leg when the storm blew down a telegraph pole – she won’t be riding her bicycle any time soon. Dorothy is overjoyed to see her family and friends, whom she appreciates more than ever.