A Bognor Regis theatre is set to be transformed into a fantasy land.
For many the pantomime season may seem a long way off, but for those responsible for bringing the experience to life at The Regis Centre, the hard work has already begun.
Hidden away from prying eyes the Alexandra Theatre’s technical team are already busy creating the props for this year’s production of The Wizard of Oz.
Ben Goodland the technical manager, Harry Hare, the deputy technician, and Ray Abbott, a dedicated volunteer, are hoping to bring a bit of magic to the theatre’s foyer.
Ben said: “We do something in the foyer to promote the pantomime and to draw visitors in every year, but this year we are defiantly trying to do it bigger and better.
“We will have munchkin houses, a cut-out of the Wicked Witch of the West, manikins and we are looking into having a talking wizard’s chair near the kiosk.
“We also want to turn the box office into the Emerald City.
“In short we want to create a land of Oz in the theatre’s foyer,” added the 20-year-old.
However the spectacle would not be complete with out its pièce de résistance – the yellow brick road.
Come September visitors will be able to follow the yellow brick road as it twists and turns around the theatre’s foyer.
So far the trio has spent a week and a half working on the road – that’s about 81 hours each.
Harry, 21, said: “We had the rolls of lino delivered and the first thing we had to do was prime it, then we rollered yellow non-stick paint on to it.
“Then the hard work of drawing out the bricks and painting them which takes a long time started.”
With each brick measuring approximately 15cm by 30cm using a tiny quarter inch brush it takes about half an hour of painstaking work to finish each one.
The team have already completed about 25 meters of the road, and an end to the mammoth task is in sight. They believe the finished road will span some 30 meters.
“It has been a lot of work but the end result will be worth all the effort. We are also going to be running a guess the number of bricks competition. The winner or the person who guesses the closest will win some tickets for the pantomime,” said Ben.
The team will have all the staging for the foyer finished before the pantomime’s press launch on September 20.
“We will definitely have everything finished for the press launch. We have to.
“We will start getting everything into the foyer about two days before so until then the yellow brick road will be put safely in storage,” added Ben.