Iconic performer Le Gateau Chocolat makes a special cameo appearance as the Good Witch in Creation Theatre’s annual festive family show, which opens on the digital stage this December.
Le Gateau Chocolat, whose award-winning work spans drag, cabaret, opera, musical theatre, children’s theatre and live art, and has performed in prestigious venues across the world, makes a special screen appearance in this magical version of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz , adapted and directed by Gari Jones.
Speaking of the exciting collaboration, which was pre-recorded during the second lockdown this month, Le Gateau Chocolat said: “It was a real joy working on this production with Creation Theatre. With my family show Duckie, programmed at Home in Manchester, a city in tier 3, now in jeopardy, the special alchemy of working with live actors, a director, sound engineers, video technicians, the designer, remotely, from our different parts of the country was humbling and that little bit more poignant. Like many, our industry has been absolutely decimated by Covid but here stands a virtual arts community, ingeniously forging ahead over Zoom!”
Audiences across the globe will be invited to escape reality and journey together to the magical Emerald land; where, along with the Scarecrow, Lion, Tin Man and many more dreamlike characters, they will work together to get Dorothy back home. 28 shows will be performed LIVE online in ‘real time’, across two weeks from the 19 December 2020 to 3 January 2021.
Creation Theatre are leading digital theatre-makers and Oxford’s largest producing theatre company. Their Christmas shows are an annual fixture, usually staged at the North Wall Arts Centre, but this year Creation Theatre takes the anarchic spirit and style of their traditional family show online, reuniting the team behind many of its Christmas hits including The Snow Queen, Peter Pan and A Christmas Carol.
Director and adaptor Gari Jones NATIONAL THEATRE, ALMEIDA, YOUNG VIC, ARTS THEATRE, FINBOROUGH, MERCURY THEATRE and costume and set designer Ryan Dawson Laight (CHICHESTER THEATRE FESTIVAL, GARY CLARKE COMPANY, DENADA DANCE THEATRE, V&A) will recreate a magical tale and a visual feast.
The production also features a cast that includes Chloe Lemonius as Dorothy; Simon Yadoo as Lion (NATIONAL THEATRE, RSC, LYRIC, OLD VIC); Dharmesh Patel as Scarecrow (RSC, SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE); Tom Richardson as Tin Man (NEW VIC THEATRE, WATFORD PALACE THEATRE); Annabelle Terry as the Wizard (CREATION THEATRE’s The Tempest Live) and Andy Owens (BLOOD BROTHERS UK TOUR, CREATION THEATRE). With an appearance by Shelley Atkinson (NEW VIC, YORK THEATRE ROYAL). The shows will also feature a community chorus with over 70 young people from all over the country who attended Creation Theatre Home Delivery, the weekly online drama workshops.
Families and friends may be apart this year, but Creation Theatre are reaching out to more people than ever around the globe this Christmas. People can book onto the same show as someone they know and will be able to spot them in the audience.
The organisation has been recognised for its digital work and earlier this month was awarded significant funding by public body Innovate UK to develop further its ground-breaking digital stage practices.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz runs 19th December 2020 to 3rd January 2021.