The Wizard of Oz

Liam Neeson lends his voice to an ambitious final production at the Lyric

Follow the yellow brick road to the Lyric Theatre to see The Wizard of Oz, the last production of the season before the Lyric closes on January 13, 2008 to begin work on a new and improved theatre building.

With a cast including eight actors, a band, three groups of 15 munchkins and 3 real Cairn Terriers, The Wizard of Oz is one of the biggest shows the Lyric has ever produced, and a rare opportunity to see this children's classic live on stage.

Liam Neeson adds Hollywood magic by voicing the title role of the great and powerful Oz. Neeson, who began his acting career at the Lyric, interrupted his busy filming schedule to record his dialogue in the same studio where he famously voiced Aslan for the 2005 feature film The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

Director Richard Croxford is excited that the Lyric can once again call upon the talents NI's very own Oscar-nominated Hollywood heavyweight. 

'We felt that the final show at the Lyric should be really memorable so we were delighted that Liam agreed to provide the voiceover for The Wizard of Oz. It was a pleasure to work with him and the resulting voiceover will be a real treat for our audiences.'

The Wizard of Oz, by L Frank Baum, tells the story of Dorothy Gale, swept away to the magical land of Oz in a tornado, who then embarks on a quest along the yellow brick road in search of a powerful Wizard who can help her return home.

This timeless tale, made into a film in 1939, is treasured by generations. True to the film, this Royal Shakespeare Company production features all the popular songs and score from the movie, including 'Over The Rainbow', which won Best Original Song at the Oscars in 1940.

The cast includes Rachel Tucker as Dorothy Gale, Conleth Kane as Scarecrow, Richard Clements as The Tin Man and Nick Shorney as Cowardly Lion. Choreographer Deborah Maguire and Musical Director Mark Dougherty are also working hard with the actors, the band, the Munchkins and the dogs in rehearsals to make this an ozsome show at the Lyric!

The Wizard of Oz is part of the last season at the Lyric before it closes in January 2008. The theatre will continue to produce shows offsite until all the funds have been raised to build a new home on its current site.

The Lyric has been campaigning for several years and has managed to secure 90% of the funding, with a further £2million to be raised before construction can begin. It is hoped that construction will begin in 2008, to be completed 2010, pending successful planning application and fundraising. For further details, log on to Support The Lyric.

The Wizard of Oz runs at the Lyric Theatre from November 23 to January 12. To book tickets, phone the Box Office on 028 9038 1081 or book online at the Lyric Theatre website.