Jason Manford and Ashley Banjo to star in new West End musical of The Wizard of Oz
Jason Manford and Ashley Banjo are following the Yellow Brick Road to the London Palladium this summer – here’s how you can get tickets today.
Jason Manford and Ashley Banjo have been named as the first two cast members to star in the Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium.
The comedian and Diversity dancer will take on the roles of the Cowardly Lion and Tin Man respectively with "further star casting to be announced soon".
Despite plenty of on-stage experience with his dance group, this will be Banjo’s first performance in a musical show. Meanwhile, Manford is no stranger to the West End having performed in Sweeney Todd, The Producers, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and more.
Based off L. Frank Baum's beloved children’s book and the 1939 classic film, The Wizard of Oz is coming to life in a whole new way this summer on one of London’s signature stages.
Directed by Nikolai Foster, the musical will feature iconic songs such as Over the Rainbow, Follow the Yellow Brick Road and We’re Off to See the Wizard, plus additional songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.
The show will run from 23rd June until 3rd September 2023 with performances every Wednesday to Sunday.
On the subject of the upcoming residency, Michael Harrison, producer of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, said: “The London Palladium is the home of the summer blockbuster musical, and there really will be no place like the Palladium for Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion, as they embark on their journey down the Yellow Brick Road.
"Nikolai Foster and his team have created a new and magical production of this beloved musical, and we can’t wait to open the doors to audiences from next June.”
After a four-month stint in London, the stage show will then embark on a UK tour starting at the Liverpool Empire before heading off to other cities in 2024.
Where to see The Wizard of Oz in the UK
Thankfully, we can give you a bit more information than “Somewhere Over the Rainbow". This summer, the Emerald City can be found at the London Palladium, in the very heart of the West End.
The London Palladium sits on Argyll Street, less than a two-minute walk from Oxford Circus tube station. To get there you can take the Central, Bakerloo and Victoria lines, or if you fancy a bit of a walk down Oxford Street you can get to Tottenham Court Road via the Central, Elizabeth and Northern lines.
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If you’re making a day of it, nearby highlights include Leicester Square, Chinatown, The British Museum and of course, the entire theatre district.
How much are tickets for The Wizard of Oz?
Ticket prices start at £20 for seats in the Grand Circle and go up to £135 for a good view from the stalls. At weekends, the base price increases to between £25 and £145.
You can also pay extra for hospitality tickets which include luxury food and drink experiences, these cost anywhere between £124.50 and £280.
How to get tickets to see The Wizard of Oz
Tickets are available now at LW Theatres.
Through its ticketing system you can also find out which shows Ashley Banjo will not be performing in, as well as which shows are audio described, captioned or signed.
Ding Dong! For more exciting days out check out the best Mother's Day experiences and best London rooftop experiences. And for more music experiences, take a look at our guide for Latitude Festival 2023.