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The Wizard of Oz – There’s no place like home

Press Release

The Wizard of Oz at Cork Opera House this Summer – There’s no place like home

Cork, 21 June 2018. Cork Opera House is delighted to announce our musical theatre production for Summer 2018, The Wizard of Oz. Following on from the success of the SOLD OUT run of Annie in 2017, Cork Opera House is presenting another production of the highest quality.

With acclaimed director Wayne Jordan (ProdiJIG 2016/2017) leading us along the yellow brick road you will be brought on a magical adventure as we create a new vision of this enchanting tale. This Cork Opera House production promises to be another amazing show.

Cork Opera House has brought together a talented team of theatre artists to bring this production to the stage. The ruby slippers will be worn by Simone Collins as she takes on the role of our fearless heroine Dorothy.

Simone recently graduated from The Lir Academy where during her studies, she took on roles including Rose in Three Winters and Efimia Ivanovna in Children of the Sun. Dorothy will be her first major theatre role and the start of a bright future.



The Wicked Witch of the West will be played by star of stage and screen George Hanover. Her film and television credits include Meg Daly in Gerry Stembridge’s feature film The Randomer (Best Actor Award at the Toronto Film Festival) and the role of Detective Inspector Audrey McCabe in RTE’s Fair City. Theatre credits include Levin and Levin (Project Arts Centre DFF) and Neon Western (Cork Midsummer Festival and Samuel Beckett Theatre, DFF).



Cork Opera House CEO Eibhlín Gleeson said “Cork Opera House has established itself as the biggest producer of musical theatre in the country. We are carrying on the tradition of producing some of the best loved musicals on our stage.

I am proud to be making another large scale production right here in Cork with a fabulous team. We have gathered together some of the best stage actors and creatives in the country to create this epic show. Following the success of our show ProdiJIG, I’m delighted to be working with Wayne Jordan again. The Cork Opera House summer musical brings tens of thousands of people into the city, contributing to the life and soul of Cork. Our city will be bursting with life this summer, as musical theatre fans’ hearts soar with this magical show. Last year’s musical, Annie, sold out quickly so don’t miss your chance to see this.”

Director Wayne Jordan whose talent for reimagining texts breathes new life into the familiar, invites us to see the things we thought we knew in surprising ways.

Director Wayne Jordan and Associate Director Davey Kelleher had this to say;

“It is a fantastic, colourful adventure, but at its heart, The Wizard of Oz is a story about growing up, about a girl learning to rescue herself. Kansas at the turn of the 20th Century is a place of economic depression. Dorothy finds herself affected the poverty of imagination in those around her. In our production, Dorothy’s imagination creates Oz from Kansas up. There is nothing in her surreal and spectacular encounters, from Munchkinland to the Emerald City, that doesn’t have its beginnings in Dorothy’s own experience in Kansas. She has to take a journey to Oz to discover that she had the tools to help herself all along.

The Wizard of Oz has been a cultural touchstone for generations. In approaching this much loved story, we’ve tried to stay authentic to the spirit of the original, while taking a fresh approach to its realisation. We hope audiences will be both surprised and delighted when they experience the show.”

Glinda/Aunt Em will be played by Clare Barrett, most recently seen on stage in The Unmanageable Sisters (Abbey Theatre). Theatre credits include Minding Frankie (The Gaiety Theatre), Angela’s Ashes (Bord Gais Theatre), Big Maggie (Druid), The Train (Rough Magic-Lime Tree Theatre/Dublin Theatre Festival) for which she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in the Irish Times Theatre Awards.

Cork Opera House panto fans will be delighted to see Adam Colbeck-Dunn returning to our stage as the Scarecrow – he won over every heart in Cork with his portrayal of Muddles last December.       We are also thrilled to welcome back Michael Grennell to our stage as Uncle Henry and The Emerald City Guard.

Shane Morgan (Tin Man) will be familiar to many as a member of The Three Tenors and his theatre credits include City of Angels and The Hired Man. John Currivan (Lion) is a Trinity acting graduate and recent theatre credits include The Commitments (Palace Theatre, London). Malcom Adams (The Wizard of Oz), originally from Cork, trained in New York and has performed with all of the major theatres and theatre production companies in Ireland including Rough Magic, The Gate Theatre, The Peacock and Abbey Theatres and Corcadorca.

So click your heels together and join Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy and her dog Toto, as they journey through the magical land of Oz to meet the Wizard and obtain their hearts’ desires. Watch out for the Wicked Witch of the West and her winged monkeys as you rediscover the real story of Oz in this fantastic musical treat for the whole family.

All of your favourite songs are included in this incredible show, so grab your tickets, link arms and come join us… We’re off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz!

The Wizard of Oz opens on 19 July 2018. Tickets on sale now from Cork Opera House.

Notes to editor

Photos sent to picture desks.

Full biographies available from Cork Opera House.


Dates: Thursday, 19th July 2018 – Sunday, 26th August 2018
Times: Tuesday – Sunday, 2pm & 7:30pm |Additional Wednesday Matinees, 2pm
Tickets: €20.00, €25.00, €30.00 & €35 | Family Pass €80-€120*
*Booking fees apply to telephone and online bookings

Director: Wayne Jordan

Choreographer: Philip Connaughton

Musical Director: John O’Brien

Set Design: Maree Kearns

Costume Design: Joan Hickson

Lighting Design: Sinéad McKenna

Sound Design: Keith Clancy, Daragh Murphy

Associate Director: Davey Kelleher

Hair and Make-Up Design: Maeve Readman

Casting Director: Kelly Phelan

The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg. Background Music by Herbert Stothart
Dance and Vocal Arrangements by Peter Howard. Orchestration by Larry Wilcox. Adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company
Based upon the Classic Motion Picture owned by Turner Entertainment Co. and distributed in all media by Warner Bros.

All press and media queries to Siobhán Howe, Communications Manager

E: | M: +353 (0) 83 8212377