A SPECIAL matinee performance of Mary Stevens Hospice’s Wizard of Oz production has been announced due to the “incredible demand” for tickets.

The Stourbridge-based charity is organising a panto version of the popular musical film, with local stars including Wagner, who finished sixth on the 2010 series of the X-Factor, and Marlene, The Black Country Wench, signed-up to play key roles in the show.

The hospice’s panto – which will see Wagner play the Wizard of Oz and Marlene as the Wicked Witch of the West – was originally due to run across two nights on the January 23 and 24 at Brierley Hill Civic Hall.

However, demand for tickets and requests from the community have encouraged organisers to add a matinee performance on the Wednesday (January 24), making the show accessible for schools, community groups and care facilities across the borough.

Amanda Bowen, deputy head of fundraising at the hospice, said: “From the moment the tickets went on sale, the support we’ve received has been overwhelming.

“The local community is at the heart of everything we do, so it was a no-brainer when we were asked whether we’d like to do another show because the demand had gone through the roof.

“By doing it as a matinee and reducing the price, we hope it opens the show up to the fantastic schools, groups and charities in our area who may not have been able to attend one of the evening performances.

“Everyone associated with this show is proud to be bringing it to life, and opening night honestly can’t come soon enough.”

Tickets for the matinee performance are available for a reduced fee of £10 per person, with further discounts available for group bookings of more than 50 people.

Ticket bookings must be made directly through the Civic Hall box office, either online at www.bhillcivic.co.uk or by calling 01384 573 381.