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First casting announced for Wizard of Oz at Liverpool Empire this Christmas


JLS star Aston Merrygold will appear as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz at the Liverpool Empire this Christmas.

The show, which is coming to the city direct from the London Palladium, will also feature Liverpool’s Ru Paul Drag Race winner The Vivienne as the Wicked Witch of the West.

The Wizard of Oz is at the Lime Street theatre from December 13 to January 7, with the run kicking off a UK and Ireland tour.

More casting is yet to be announced.

Chart-topper Merrygold, who also took part in the 2017 series of Strictly Come Dancing and in 2021 finished third in The Masked Singer, returns to the city after marrying his partner Sarah Louise Richards at Sefton Park Palm House last October.

He said today: “Liverpool is such a special place to me and my family, it was only a year ago that I got married there!

“The Wizard of Oz is such an iconic story with such timeless characters and audiences of any age will delight in this new production full of laughter, excitement and a lot of colour. I can’t wait to return to the city for a fantastic festive season this Christmas as the Tin Man.”

The Vivienne added: “I first saw the movie aged five and I’ve probably seen it about 100 times since. I played The Tin Man at primary school and got to skate to Over The Rainbow on Dancing on Ice, so it’s fair to say I’ve had a life-long love affair with the story.

“Performing in Liverpool is always a complete joy, and this will actually be my first-time stepping foot on the Empire stage after years of seeing productions there, so it’s a complete honour.”

The Wizard of Oz is based on the Oscar-winning film with additional songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber and is directed by Nikolai Foster.

See The Wizard of Oz at the Liverpool Empire from December 13 to January 7. Tickets HERE

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