Teenagers from Wolverhampton are preparing to tread the boards at the Birmingham Hippodrome this week.
Students from St Matthias, Coppice Performing Arts and Our Lady and St Chad’s schools will be performing their acclaimed hip-hop version of The Wizard of Oz, entitled Groove on Down the Road, at the Birmingham theatre from Wednesday to Friday (27-29 September).
They have been working with the Sadlers Wells'-based ZooNation Dance company as part of a project funded by the Arts Council and Children in Need, and premiered the show at the Arena Theatre last month.
Rhimes Lecointe, who is directing the show, is a long-standing member of the ZooNation team and runs her own dance company Boadicea in London.
She said: “The response from the audience when we premiered the show at the Arena Theatre was amazing and the quality and enthusiasm these young people have shown has been extraordinary. We are thrilled to be showcasing the work at Birmingham Hippodrome which has such a strong reputation for dance.
We love bringing our work to new audiences and engaging with young people; “we have been able to select a really talented and enthusiastic cast and the show is a great introduction to our style of hip hop theatre.”
Mya Wright from Our Lady and St Chad’s School plays Dorothy. She said: “Having the opportunity to play the main part has given me the confidence to believe I can do anything in the future.”
Councillor Claire Darke, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “It is fantastic to see our young people given this incredible opportunity, and the chance to show off their skills at the Birmingham Hippodrome."
Fiona Allan, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Birmingham Hippodrome, added: "The West Midlands is brimming with young creative talent and we see this all the time in our work with schools, colleges and the community here at Birmingham Hippodrome."
Tickets are available now. For more details, please call Birmingham Hippodrome on 0844 338 5000 or visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com.