Pilbara’s Odd Wizards
Children from Port Hedland transported their audience to the Emerald City last week with a new version of the classic tale The Wizard of Oz.
Their Wizard of Odd, at the Matt Dann Theatre, was a light-hearted re-telling of the story set in the Pilbara and featuring a cast of children aged nine to 14.
Director Elise Batchelor adapted the script by London playwright Claire Demmer to include iconic aspects of life in the North West and changed locations to include Wedgefield and the “Emerald City” of Karijini.
The production featured a variety of references to pop culture and music from a range of musicals, beginning with Over the Rainbow and finishing with There’s no Business Like Show Business.
Batchelor said rehearsals began in March and increased to all-day rehearsals a month before the show opened.
“My aim was to draw in as many iconic references to the Pilbara and the North West that people would recognise,” she said.
Batchelor said she was very proud, spending the first night “beaming from ear to ear” out of pride of what the children had achieved.
Town of Port Hedland Commissioner Fred Reibeling said the Matt Dann Theatre had a strong track record of supporting grassroots theatre in the community.
“Every element of the production, from the handcrafted stage props down to the detailed custom costumes, have resulted in a live experience for audiences on par with metropolitan centres,” he said.
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