Michael Harrison and the Really Useful Group are thrilled to announce final casting for the UK and Ireland tour of The Wizard of Oz, which has begun rehearsals.

The new musical, based on the iconic story by L Frank Baum, tours the UK and Ireland throughout 2024, following a celebrated run at the world-famous London Palladium. It will be opening at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking from May 7 to 12.

Joining previously announced Strictly Come Dancing star Craig Revel Horwood (The Wicked Witch of the West), principal casting is confirmed as Allan Stewart (Stones in His Pockets, West End, UK tour, Toronto; STV Hello, Good Evening, Welcome) as The Wizard, Aviva Tulley (Book of Mormon, UK tour) as Dorothy, Benjamin Yates (Emmerdale; Jersey Boys, West End) as The Scarecrow, Nic Greenshields (Love Never Dies, West End; Les Misérables West End, international tour) as The Cowardly Lion, Emily Bull (9 to 5, UK tour; Matilda, UK tour) as Glinda The Good Witch and Abigail Matthews as Toto (Bleak Expectations, West End; War Horse, West End).

The cast is completed by David Burrows, Adam Craig, Cole Dunn, Tyler Ephraim, Olivia Kate Holding, Thomas Kalek, Sadie Levett, Kelsie-Rae Marshall, Martin McCarthy, Rose Ouellette, Fanja Parent, Alexandra Regan, Nathan Routledge and Sydney Spencer.

Allan Stewart started his career aged ten at the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow. He appeared in clubs and theatres during his school days, and wrote and recorded his first single aged 16 at Abbey Road studios with legendary Beatles producer George Martin.

His voice broke and when he came back into the business two albums and the hit single Opening Night followed. Although he was initially known as a singer he was seduced by the sound of laughter and turned his attention to comedy and television.

He starred in many series for STV, including Hello, Good Evening, Welcome and The Allan Stewart Tapes, and his national television break came in the 1980s with the hugely successful series Copy Cats.

Live from the Palladium, Night of 1,000 Stars and many other high profile television guest spots filled his diary. He hosted his own quiz show Chain Letters and appeared in two Royal Variety Performances.

There are performances at 2.30pm on May 8, 11 and 12, and at 7.30pm from May 7 to 11.