We’re off to see the wizard...in Sheffield!

Manor Operatics Societys new show 'Wizard of Oz'  at the City Hall from 16th to the 19th May...pictured LtoR 'Lion' Simon Hance,'Scarecrow' Alex McVeigh,'Dorothy' Emma Holmes,'Tin Man' James Smith
Manor Operatics Societys new show 'Wizard of Oz' at the City Hall from 16th to the 19th May...pictured LtoR 'Lion' Simon Hance,'Scarecrow' Alex McVeigh,'Dorothy' Emma Holmes,'Tin Man' James Smith

FOLLOW the yellow brick road... and it takes you straight to Sheffield City Hall!

Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Lion and the Scarecrow are taking theatregoers on a trip down memory lane with Manor Operatic Society’s production of The Wizard of Oz.

The classic tale of a young girl from Kansas who gets whisked away by a tornado is proving timeless as it captivates audiences decades on from when it was first produced as a film.

Months of painstaking rehearsals have paid off for a cast and crew who make it through 27 scene changes alongside little dog Bella - a Cavalier King Charles spaniel and poodle cross who makes her acting debut playing Toto.

Bella the Cavapoo proved a firm favourite with the opening night crowd - and had the City Hall in hysterics when she ate a sausage after stealing it from a fortune teller.

Bella, whose real-life owner Simon Hance played the Lion, met all her cues - but tried to make a sharp exit from the stage at the end of the show when the applause from her fans overwhelmed her.

The show features classic songs including Over the Rainbow and Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead, and remains true to the original.

But it is brought up to date on stage with magical puffs of smoke, pyrotechnic explosions, and the use of projection screens to provide special effects including the tornado which sweeps through Kansas.

Emma Homes takes the lead role as Dorothy in her sixth show with Manor Operatic, and with her singing, American drawl and relationship with Toto all pitched to perfection she proved the perfect choice.

But Holly Parker Strawson, who plays the Wicked Witch, also made her mark in the show.

Painted green and with a piercing voice that struck fear into the audience, she perfected her role as the baddie and ended up being booed pantomime-style each time she appeared.

Bringing comedy to the role too, Holly got one of the loudest cheers of the night in the finale.

Alex McVeigh, playing the Scarecrow, James Smith as the Tin Man, and Simon Hance as the Lion all provided the fun that gave the show an all round family feel.

The Wizard of Oz is performed again tonight and tomorrow - for tickets call the City Hall Box Office on 0114 223 3752.

Tickets for Manor Operatic Society’s pantomime this year, Aladdin, go on sale on August 1.