x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Off to see Webber's Wizard

As Andrew Lloyd Webber's new Wizard of Oz musical opens in London, we round-up some other facts about the classic tale.

With Andrew Lloyd Webber's new Wizard of Oz musical opening in London, and James Franco signing to star in an Oz movie prequel, we take a look at five facts about the classic tale.

Take one... Something Wicked This Way Comes

There has been a sequel, Return to Oz, and a TV mini-series, Tin Man, but neither compares to the stage show Wicked, based on the book of the same name, which looks at the Wicked Witch of the West's back story. The show was named last year's "Most Popular Show" at the Laurence Olivier Awards.

Take two... Hot stuff

Spare a thought for poor Margaret Hamilton, most famous for playing the cackling green witch in the movie, who was taken to hospital, with burns, after filming one scene where she vanished in a cloud of smoke.

Take three... Tin Man

Hamilton was not the only one to suffer for her art. The movie's original Tin Man, Buddy Ebsen, had to be replaced after falling seriously ill thanks to the costume department's choice of material for his outfit - aluminium dust. You can still hear his voice on the famous song, We're Off to See the Wizard.

Take four... Say it again, Dorothy

Think you know some Wizard of Oz quotes by heart? Think again. "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto", and "Fly my pretties, fly!" are both misquotes of the original lines.

Take five... Jell-O, is it me you're looking for?

According to The Guardian, which came up with a list of 71 facts last year to celebrate the movie's 71st birthday, the horses seen in the Emerald City scenes were plastered with Jell-O crystals to give them the shimmery green effect seen in the final cut. As a result, it appears the scenes had to be shot quickly before the horses were able to slurp off their sugary make-up.