This version of the show is based on the original story by L. Frank Baum and was adapted by John Kane from the motion picture screenplay for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
With music and lyrics from the MGM motion picture score by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg with background music by Herbert Stothart.
It opened at The Barbican Theatre, London on 12th December 1987 and it transferred to The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-on-Avon on 2nd February 1989.
Little Dorothy Gale of Kansas, like so many girls her age, often dreams of what may lie over the rainbow. One day a tornado hits her home town and carries her away to Munchkinland - at the end of the rainbow.
The Munchkins fete Dorothy as a heroine. Dorothy wants to go home to Kansas and seeks the help of the kind Sorceress of the North. Only the great Wizard of Oz, says the Sorceress, can help Dorothy get back to Kansas.
Dorothy persuades three friends to accompany her on the trip to the Emerald City to see the Wizard. They are Scarecrow, who lacks a brain, he thinks; the Tin Woodman, who has no heart, and the Cowardly Lion, who would like to have some courage.
The Wicked Witch of the West vows vengeance on Dorothy and does all she can to stop the friends getting to the Emerald City. But they do reach it, and manage to see the Wizard. He will only help them, he says, if they kill the Wicked Witch of the West, an apparently impossible task. They do succeed, they get all their wishes and the Wizard accompanies Dorothy to Kansas in a rocket ship.
The well-known score includes some of the best loved songs from the movie classic!