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Wizard of Oz review at Lowry Salford

Director David Fleeshman has worked wonders with this production ensuring that this stage version, of Lyman Frank Baum’s children’s classic, will satisfy fans of both the book and the film. It is certainly a vast improvement on Pele’s previous production at the Tameside Hippodrome.

Debbie Chapman, is a charming Dorothy while Sue Jenkins, who also plays Auntie Em, makes a magical entrance as Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. Floating down in a splendid pink bubble, she surprises the audience with a beautiful singing voice.

Susie Blake, who also doubles as Miss Gultch, absolutely relishes her role as the Wicked Witch of the West and her flying is terrific. There are good performances too from Ian Casey, who is astonishingly flexible as The Scarecrow, Joe Standerline, who makes a lovable Tin Man, and Christopher Roberts, an endearing Lion.

Musical director James Wells is also to be congratulated, although the jitterbug number, which was edited out of the film, deserves the same fate in an otherwise first rate production.

The set and video design, complete with rainbow, is worthy of the West End, as indeed is this whole production.

Production Information

Lowry, Salford, December 15-January 9

Author
Adapted from Lyman Frank Baum’s novel
Director
David Fleeshman
Producer
Vivienne Wells for Pele Productions in association with The Lowry
Cast includes
Sue Jenkins, Susie Blake, Debbie Chapman and Ian Casey
Running time
2hrs 30mins

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