Ande’s off to see the Wizard

FORMER Dromore High School pupil turned children’s TV presenter, Ande Gray, today (Tuesday) takes the stage at Belfast’s Grand Opera House in the The New Lyric Operatic Company’s production of The Wizard of Oz.

Ande, who has recently revisited his old school, snapping up some new young talent for his CBBC show, is about to start his second series of ‘The Culture Club’ on BBC2.

The show not only informs children about different cultures, but on every episode Ande teaches a different dance routine.

The former Dromore man also featured on air in Channel 4 show T4, narrowly missing out on the chance to become its new presenter!

Ande will be starring in The Wizard of Oz in the Grand Opera House until Saturday (November 20)

He will play the Scarecorw, one of three characters who, in the classic tale made famous by the movie starring Judy Garland, befriends a young girl from Kansas, Dorothy Gale, whisked out of her quiet life into the wild and wacky world of Oz.

Dorothy, The Scarecrow, Tinman and Lion follow the yellow-brick road in search of the Wizard of Oz and their heart’s desires, encountering along the way witches, flying monkeys and the terrifying Jitterbug.

On their way to Oz the four belt out classic hits such as ‘We’re off the see the Wizard’, ‘If I only Had a Brain/Heart/The Courage’ and the iconic ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’

Said Ande, “I’m very excited to be hitting the stage in such an iconic show - in such a great part in such a historic theatre; it’s a real honor.

“The cast is just outstandingm, a mix of top local actors with two new and very talented actresses playing Dorothy. “This past August we had our own mini search for a Dorothy, where over 50 girls auditioned, and while our director, Tony Finnegan, may not be as well known as Andrew Lloyd Webber, he sure knows talent when he sees it, and after cutting the field down to just two - Ruby Campbell (16) and Gemma McMeel (16) he just couldn’t chose between them - the result being there are two really talented girls rotating the part.”

Tickets available from the Grand Opera House.