AUDIENCES won’t have to follow the Yellow Brick Road to catch up with The Wizard of Oz at The Swan Theatre in Worcester.

Ballet Theatre UK, in their ruby slippers or not, will be bringing the classic yarn to the stage this November.

A spokesman said: “Discover all the wonders of Oz! Enjoy Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tinman, and Lion, (and yes Toto too) as they seek the Wonderful Wizard to find that there’s no place like home!

“The Wizard of Oz is a two act, full-length, ballet adaptation of the iconic tale by L. Frank Baum, told through the magic of classical dance.”

The spokesman added: “Set to a classical score which brings the story to life, this production is family friendly and is the perfect way to introduce children to the classical ballet.

“The production is presented with beautiful backdrops, stunning theatrical sets and costumes evoking the iconic sketches by W.W. Denslow, from the original publication.”

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was originally a children’s novel from the pen of L. Frank Baum and illustrated by Denslow.

Audiences of today will think of the lively and colourful movie of 1939, and immediately associate it with Judy Garland and the golden years of Hollywood.

But the novel first came out in 1900, at the end of the Victorian era, when it was almost immediately popular.

A musical adaptation was a Broadway hit in 1902.

The book, meanwhile, was a best-selling smash, selling three million copies by the time it entered the public domain in 1956, helped no doubt by the popularity of the film.

Baum’s book has some passages that may raise the eyebrows of modern readers, given he was writing an adventure story for children.

For example, when the Wicked Witch of the West sends a pack of wolves to attack Dorothy and her friends, the ‘Tin Woodman’ despatches the wolves with his axe.

And when the witch sends crows to peck at Dorothy’s eyes, the Scarecrow kills the birds by snapping their necks.

The movie, then, removed some of the darker aspects; but for all that it wasn’t an immediate success.

Box office sales were relatively sluggish, and it was the age of television which found new audiences and led to the film’s iconic status.

The scenes with the Munchkins are perhaps some of the most memorable, but Toto the Dog was actually paid more.

In fact, Toto was Terry, a female Cairn terrier, and the owner was paid a then respectable $125 a week during the production.

Each Munchkin, on the other hand, only received £50.

Another remarkable fact is that the film’s most famous song, “Over the Rainbow” was almost cut, because it was considered to be slightly too long. On such decisions legends are made and lost.

And now the charm and magic endures, thanks to a new ballet production.

The date for the diary is Saturday, November 2.

Box Office: 01905 611427