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Munchkinland comes to Thetford in new pantomime

PUBLISHED: 09:09 06 January 2019 | UPDATED: 14:57 06 January 2019

Munchkins Jayden Bailey, Scott O'Sullivan and Benjamin Matthews in Thetford Players 2019 pantomime The Wizard of Oz. PHOTO: Sophie Smith

Munchkins Jayden Bailey, Scott O'Sullivan and Benjamin Matthews in Thetford Players 2019 pantomime The Wizard of Oz. PHOTO: Sophie Smith

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A new pantomime starting mid-January will be whisking Thetford out of Kansas and into Munchkinland for some colourful fun.

Featuring a cast of all ages, Thetford Players’ latest effort, The Wizard of Oz will be performed on Fridays and Saturdays between January 18 and 26 at the Carnegie Room in Thetford.

Jo Cooper, pantomime producer alongside Sue Balaam, has worked on every production since the groups inception at the start of the decade.

The 55-year-old said: “The Wizard of Oz is such a classic musical, everybody knows and loves it. The audience can expect some fabulously crummy puns.

“I think Thetford Players have built up quite a reputation for pantos.”

Thetford Players rehearse their 2019 pantomime The Wizard of Oz. PHOTO: Sophie SmithThetford Players rehearse their 2019 pantomime The Wizard of Oz. PHOTO: Sophie Smith

Directed by Barry Bailey and Katie Wright, the show tells the famous tale of Dorothy, a girl who is magically transported in a hurricane from Kansas to a magical realm of strange and wonderful creatures. In order to get home again, Dorothy sets out on a yellow brick road to find the Wizard of Oz to magic her back to Kansas.

Joshua Plumley, who attends Thetford Academy and George Cooke, both 15, are playing the cowardly lion and the tin man.

George, who attends Old Buckenham High School, said: “It’s been pretty good, there’s a good vibe this year, everybody is very friendly and gets on. We just come in and have fun.”

Thetford Players were recently nominated for a National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) award for their pantomime last year, Robin Hood. Ms Cooper said: “We’ll find out in May whether we’ve won or not. It’s pretty fantastic.”

Amanda Kingsnorth as the Scarecrow in Thetford Players 2019 pantomime The Wizard of Oz. PHOTO: Sophie SmithAmanda Kingsnorth as the Scarecrow in Thetford Players 2019 pantomime The Wizard of Oz. PHOTO: Sophie Smith

Amanda Kingsnorth, 49, is playing the part of the scarecrow. The Thetford Grammar School science technician said: “I’m new to the Thetford Players but I have been acting since I was 13.

“This is actually my second time as the scarecrow. This is a different version to what I’ve done before, it’s very fun. I get to sing an audience participation at the end.”

Friday performances begin at 7pm, Saturday performances begin at 1.30pm and 6.30pm.

Doors open half an hour before starting time.

Thetford Players rehearse their 2019 pantomime The Wizard of Oz. PHOTO: Sophie SmithThetford Players rehearse their 2019 pantomime The Wizard of Oz. PHOTO: Sophie Smith

Tickets can be bought at www.leapinghare.org or by calling the box office on 01842 751975 for £9, or £7.50 for concessions and groups of 10 and more.

Thetford Players rehearse their 2019 pantomime The Wizard of Oz. PHOTO: Sophie SmithThetford Players rehearse their 2019 pantomime The Wizard of Oz. PHOTO: Sophie Smith

Joshua Plumley and George Cooke are playing the Lion and the Tin Man in Thetford Players 2019 pantomime The Wizard of Oz. PHOTO: Sophie SmithJoshua Plumley and George Cooke are playing the Lion and the Tin Man in Thetford Players 2019 pantomime The Wizard of Oz. PHOTO: Sophie Smith

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