The Australian premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s London Palladium production of The Wizard of Oz will be held in Brisbane in November, before travelling to Sydney in December.

Developed from the screenplay of the classic MGM film, this new stage adaptation of The Wizard of Oz features the timeless Harold Arlen and EY Harburg songs from the Oscar-winning movie, as well as all the iconic characters and moments — as well as a few surprises, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Musical theatre star Anthony Warlow (The Phantom of the Opera, Doctor Zhivago: The Musical, Annie, Les Miserables, Fiddler on the Roof) will play The Wizard and Professor Marvel, while the rest of the cast is yet to be announced.

“This beautiful, sumptuous production was a huge hit in London and the US, and audiences adored the new songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice,” says co-producer John Frost.

“It’s wonderful for Queensland to have the Australian premiere and we are looking forward to a couple of weeks rehearsals there, with hopefully a chance for the cast and creative teams to enjoy some of Queensland’s natural beauty. It’s also very exciting to welcome Anthony Warlow back to Australia to star in the title role, and I can’t wait to discover a talented young actress to wear Dorothy’s ruby red slippers and sing one of the most beloved songs of all time, Over the Rainbow.”

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says securing the Australian premiere of The Wizard of Oz secures Brisbane’s reputation as a premiere cultural destination.

“Queenslanders love the performing arts, particularly musical theatre, and I am delighted to welcome this wonderful production of The Wizard of Oz to Brisbane later this year,” she says.

“It is a real coup for Brisbane to host opening night and the first season of The Wizard of Oz‘s Australian tour. Queenslanders will be able to enjoy this much-loved production first, and it will also deliver significant cultural tourism benefits and investment to the state, including increased visitor rights.”

This new production of The Wizard of Oz made its world premiere at The London Palladium Theatre in March 2011, before making its North American premiere in Toronto in December 2012, and embarking on a US tour from September 2013.

The Wizard of Oz will make its Australian premiere at QPAC’s Lyric Theatre on Saturday 4 November. Tickets will go on sale on Monday 5 June; you can join the waitlist now at wizardofozthemusical.com.