News and Blog

Christmas comes to Theatre Peckham with The Wonderful

The cast of The Wonderful

After lockdown 2.0, we’re so excited to announce that the theatre will reopen on Monday with a week of free performances of our Christmas production The Wonderful Storybook, to local primary schools – oh yes we will!

This magical reimagining of L Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by Geoffrey Aymer (remember Geoffrey as Friar Tuck?!) will take the form of a 50-minute adapted tale ahead of a full-scale production later next year. We know you might be sad to miss TP’s iconic Christmas production this year, but don’t worry, we’ll be back next year BIGGER and better.

Everyone has got that piece of wonderful… 

Think you know the story of The Wizard of Oz? Think again. Our story begins in Nanna Emi’s take-away shop in Peckham, where we meet our hero Efe, struggling with her sense of identity. 

As the day begins like any other, a raging storm whisks her away to the mythical African land of Ozanda. Along with her closest companion, her dog TikTok, Efe embarks on a fantastical quest of self-discovery to find her way home. But not without the help of her new friends, who show her there really is something wonderful in all of us. 

Our festive celebration will be directed by Artistic Director Suzann McLean and comes after months of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw us taking our artistic offer for young people online. The cast includes Thalia Gambe who is a member of Theatre Peckham’s REP Company and starred in the sell-out START back in October, the cast also includes local actor David Webber (Barbershop Chronicles, National Theatre) and Claire-Marie Hall (Cosette, Les Misérables, West End). 

Throughout the week, 500 school children from local schools will visit Theatre Peckham, with each performance attended by year group bubbles. Over the past months we have invested in making our theatre a Covid-safe space for all, including temperature checks, sanitisation stations and an electrostatic 72hr-protection spray. 

Suzann McLean said: “After what has been a challenging year, we are determined to bring some festive cheer to our community and we’re absolutely thrilled to welcome young people back into our building. It’s vital that we keep the arts alive for children to support their wellbeing and mental health. Activity packs will be given to every child so that they can participate in the development process of The Wonderful and bring some ‘wonderful’ Christmas spirit to Theatre Peckham.” 


Creative team 

Writer: Geoffrey Aymer
Composers: Jordan Xavier & Nick Bowers-Broadbent
Director: Suzann McLean
Designer: Katrina Russell-Adams
Musical Director: Ben Christopher
Production Manager: Adam Burns
Lighting Designer: Tim Speechley
Stage Manager: Izzy Carney
Scenic construction: Jack Boisseux and George Squires
ASM: Elspeth Goodman
Production Electricians: Jordan Lightfoot and Adam Mottley
Sound no 1: Jordan Bryan
Sound no 2: Anja Urban
Crew: Dan Steward and Aoife Nolan- Bennett
Assisting Designer: Juliet Baptiste

Huge thank you London Community Response fund who have enabled this to happen.