It’s hard to believe that summer has hardly arrived and we at Chickenshed are busily preparing for our brand new Christmas show - Adventure to Oz! This is a special moment for me as it will be my first Christmas show as Artistic Director.

Drawn from the wonderful Land of Oz stories which L. Frank Baum created, you will meet familiar characters such as Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, the Tinman and the Wizard of Oz himself. This new musical will also introduce marvellous and colourful new characters such as Ozma, the Queen of Oz, the mysterious Glass Cat and the wonderfully cheeky Patchwork Girl. I have really been enjoying writing the script and working with the uniquely talented creative team here at Chickenshed who will help me bring the story to life with the usual magical Chickenshed Christmas touch.

In true Chickenshed Christmas style, most of our 600 children, young people and artistic staff will be involved in the production. We are nearly cast for the show and you will be seeing many new faces as well as familiar favourites on stage. This week we have been talking about casting our Dorothy (we need four of them) and we have literally dozens of suitable children who can play her. We are truly spoiled for choice. Luckily we don’t have the same problem with her dog, Toto, since that part is being played by a puppet!

I’ve just handed over the first set of lyrics to Dave Carey, our Music Director, who has been involved with the creation of Christmas shows here for many years so I know we’re all in safe hands. And as an extra bonus this year, the Evening Standard Award Winning designer Robin Don will be creating our sets. It’s the first time he’s worked with us at Chickenshed and he’s absolutely delighted and honoured to be part of our team.

There will be a lot of attention on our Christmas show - especially since it’s a world premiere, meaning that you could be the first audience to enjoy it. I can tell you that tickets are already selling very quickly, and Box Office tell me that we are on target to be one of the biggest selling Christmas shows we’ve had.

So close your eyes, and imagine yourself in the magical Land of Oz during a magical time of the year. It’s looking like it will become a Chickenshed classic!

Lou Stein
Artistic Director