The Vivienne and Aston Merrygold join the cast of The Wizard of OZ at Liverpool Empire
2 weeks ago
It has been announced today that Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK Winner The Vivienne and JLS star will join the cast of The Wizard of Oz this Christmas!
Aston Merrygold will play The Tin Man and, Liverpool-raised, The Vivienne will play The Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz at Liverpool Empire this Christmas.
The new musical, based on the iconic story by L. Frank Baum, opens its UK and Ireland tour at the venue following a celebrated run at the world-famous London Palladium, playing an extended festive season from Tuesday 13 December – Sunday 7 January 2024.
The Vivienne is without doubt the UK’s No.1 drag superstar, after emerging as the original champion of the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. Since then, she has become a huge star both in the UK and internationally appearing on TV regularly and releasing music for fans across the globe. 2022 saw The Vivienne’s TV career go global when she appeared on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars All Winners’ on US TV.
2023 saw The Vivienne make history as the first drag star to appear on a major UK reality competition series, competing in ‘Dancing On Ice’ on ITV.
Viv made it all the way through the Top 3, with breathtaking performances in the final. 2023 also saw The Vivienne become the face and voice of the BBC’s Eurovision Song Contest trailers. In addition, she performed ‘Waterloo‘ at the massive Eurovision opening ceremony in Liverpool city centre.
Aston Merrygold became known for his incredible stage presence during his time with X Factor formed band JLS, who went on to sell out countless arena tours and sell over 10 million records, including five Number 1 hits and numerous awards.
Whilst the band took a seven-year break, Aston made strides in his career appearing on the West End, Strictly Come Dancing and released his platinum debut single ‘Get Stupid’ and most recently ‘Overboard’ and ‘Share a Coke’. JLS made their comeback last year and performed to sold out arenas all over the UK and Ireland.
Join Dorothy, Toto and friends on an unforgettable adventure down the yellow brick road to the merry old land of Oz.
Featuring the iconic original score from the Oscar-winning MGM film, including Over The Rainbow, Follow The Yellow Brick Road and We’re Off To See the Wizard – with additional songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice – this spectacular production will be a truly magical experience for all the family.
The Vivienne, who will perform as The Wicked Witch of The West, said:
“It is quite literally a dream come true to be asked to play The Wicked Witch of the West and to bring this amazing character to life this Christmas. The Wizard of Oz means everything to me, it’s the ultimate story of overcoming adversity.
“I first saw the movie aged five and I’ve probably seen it about 100 times since. I played The Tin Man at primary school and got to skate to ‘Over The Rainbow’ on Dancing on Ice so it’s fair to say I’ve had a life-long love affair with the story.
“Your favourite characters are all there, telling the story you know and love … but with SO much more added to this new production. Prepare to be whisked into an amazing new world of colour. Performing in Liverpool is always a complete joy, and this will actually be my first-time stepping foot on the Empire stage after years of seeing productions there, so it’s a complete honour!”
Aston Merrygold, who joins the cast as The Tin Man, added:
“Liverpool is such a special place to me and my family, it was only a year ago that I got married there! The Wizard of Oz is such an iconic story with such timeless characters and audiences of any age will delight in this new production full of laughter, excitement and a lot of colour.
“I can’t wait to return to the city for a fantastic festive season this Christmas as The Tin Man, it’s going to be incredible!”