When you are playing such well-known, beloved characters as those in The Wizard of Ozthere’s only so much room to move in terms of reappraising the role – particularly for Alex Rathgeber who is, as he puts it, “stuck inside a tin can” as the Tin Man.

And yet Rathgeber is finding that he and his fellow cast members – which include Samantha Dodemaide as Dorothy, Lucy Durack as Glinda, Jemma Rix as the Wicked Witch of the West, Anthony Warlow as the Wizard, Eli Cooper as the Scarecrow and John Xintavelonis as the Lion – have all managed in subtle ways to make the parts their own.

Wizard of Oz Lucy Durack as Glinda, Samantha Dodemaide as Dorothy, Alex Rathgeber as the Tin Man, John Xintavelonis as the Lion and Eli Cooper as the Scarecrow. Photograph © Jeff Busby 

“It is a pre-existing production and things are set to a certain extent but in terms of our interaction with each other, those moments of eye contact and our own individual gestures, and all the other little tiny things make a difference,” says Rathgeber. “I certainly feel with Sam and Lucy, and with...