The Wizard of Oz: headteacher swaps classroom for the stage

Anna Chidgey, acting headteacher at St Matthew's Primary School in Rosewell,  as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz,  with Millie as Toto
Anna Chidgey, acting headteacher at St Matthew's Primary School in Rosewell, as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, with Millie as Toto
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A MIDLOTHIAN primary school headteacher is about to swap the classroom for the stage in the lead role of the latest musical at the King’s Theatre.

Acting headteacher at St Matthew’s Primary School in Rosewell, Anna Chidgey, 28, will live up to her job title when she plays Dorothy in the upcoming run of The Wizard of Oz at the Capital venue.

Originally I was just going for the role of a tree – which was my hope. But anyone that wants to be in the production has to go for a principal role.

Anna Chidgey

She said: “It’s great to perform on the King’s stage. It’s exciting, if a bit daunting.

“I played Laurie in Oklahoma there in 2013.

“Originally I was just going for the role of a tree – which was my hope. But anyone that wants to be in the production has to go for a principal role. So I went there not thinking for a minute that I would get that role. I was shocked when I found out in October.

“We have been in rehearsals since. It’s kind of stepping up now, since Christmas, to three rehearsals a week.”

Despite landing this role, Miss Chidgey still believes teaching comes first.

“I did a wee bit of acting in my teenage years,” she said. “Then I ended up doing a drama degree while I was studying teaching.

“I really enjoy acting. It’s good fun, you get to meet lots of new people.

“At the moment it’s definitely just a hobby – it would be great if that was a career. However, I would miss teaching too much.

“Acting is great because it takes you away from thinking about work and therefore makes you more refreshed when you are at work.”

Miss Chidgey will see a couple of familiar faces when she takes to the stage for the Southern Light Opera Production of The Wizard of Oz, a story she remembers well from her childhood.

She said: “Two of the munchkins are from St David’s Primary School where I used to work so that will be interesting. They went to the audition with over 200 children, so they did great to be chosen.

“It’s definitely one I remember watching over and over when I was a child. So it’s quite exciting.”
The Wizard of Oz runs at the King’s Theatre from February 23-27. 
Tickets (£16/£20) are available from www.edtheatres.com/wizardofoz