Theatre fans have been following the Yellow Brick Road straight to Falkirk Town Hall this week to watch a spectacular amateur production.
The curtain was raised on Tuesday evening for the beginning of a five-night run of ‘The Wizard of Oz’, the classic fairytale by L. Frank Baum that follows Kansas farm girl Dorothy and her journey to a fantastical far-away land.
It’s the latest musical production from the Falkirk Operatic Society - and judging by the opening night reception, it’s set to become one of the adult company’s biggest successes yet.
The show will be staged again tonight (Thursday) and for the next two nights, as well as a matinee show on Saturday at 2 p.m. - but you best be quick if you want to buy a ticket.
Directed by Lorna Wallace, with choreography by Clare Smith and musical direction from Crawford Moyes, it stars a stellar cast who had no trouble in whisking away the audience to the Land of Oz.
Amy Sutherland is the actor donning the ruby slippers as Dorothy Gale, and she displayed no sign of nerves - despite this being her first principal role.
Her note-perfect renditions of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ tugged at the heart strings and earned well-deserved applause.
Dorothy’s faithful best friend, Toto the dog, also proved real hit with the audience. Played by two-year-old Yorkshire Terrier Dylan, you would have thought he was a theatre veteran, such was his composure on stage.
Once the pair found themselves in Oz - via hurricane - they were told by an impressive cast of Munchkins that their best bet of returning home would be to ask the mysterious Wizard of Oz, who lived in the far-away Emerald City.
Dorothy and Toto soon found a band of friends who were similarly keen for the wizard to grant them their own wishes.
Rebecca Anderson produced a highly entertaining performance as The Scarecrow searching for a brain, while husband-and-wife team Malcolm and Shirley McNulty were tremendous as The Tinman longing for a heart and the cowardly Lion desperate for some courage.
The four friends then had to contend with the fearsome Wicked Witch, played by Carol Sutherland, but did have the help of the sparkling Glinda the Good Witch, performed by Claire Fraser - who also
doubled up as Dorothy’s Aunt Em.
While his character proves not to be as magical as he first claims, Falkirk Operatic veteran Bob Clark was more than convincing as the Wizard.
And Eric Brown produced the big welcome home Dorothy had been longing for as Uncle Henry.