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The Wizard of Oz

“Totally magical”

In some ways using the Royal Shakespeare Company’s oft-revived 1987 version of The Wizard of Oz, which matches the MGM classic virtually beat-by-beat, seems like a safe option. But while John Kane’s adaptation runs along completely familiar lines for those already acquainted with the movie, it provides a solid framework for this Selladoor production to transport youngsters new to the story to a totally magical place.

In the early Kansas scenes, much of this work is done by 2017 X Factor quarter-finalist Holly Tandy who – despite making her theatre lead debut – commands the stage as Dorothy, imbuing her with an impressively Judy Garland-like mix of vulnerability and pluck.

Cressida Carre’s production takes a while to find its feet, but Tandy’s performance – not to mention a show-stopping performance of Over the Rainbow – gets the audience onboard despite the sluggish start.

Once Dorothy gets to Oz, however, the creative team pull out all the stops, with designer Steve Howell’s rendering of the Emerald City and the Wizard’s booming presence managing to fill even the Winter Gardens’ cavernous stage.

And while some of the other action gets a little dwarfed, musical director Dean McDermott’s marshalling of the seven-piece band helps the film’s much-loved songs and Mark Crossland’s lush arrangements to fill the venue to the rafters.

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Production Details
Production nameThe Wizard of Oz
VenueWinter Gardens
StartsDecember 10, 2018
EndsDecember 30, 2018
Running time2hrs 40mins
AuthorL Frank Baum
AdaptorJohn Kane
ComposerEy Harburg, Harold Arlen
LyricistEy Harburg, Harold Arlen
DirectorCressida Carre
Musical directorDean Mcdermott
Set designerSteve Howell
Costume designerSarah Mercade
Lighting designerJack Weir
Sound designerChris Whybrow
CastHolly Tandy, Kate Milner-Evans, Kevin Fletcher, Kieran Mcginn, Sarah Tullamore, Scott Gallagher
Stage managerLaura Parks, Sky Barnes
ProducerBlackpool Winter Gardens, Selladoor Family
VerdictA strong central performance, impressive design work and sweeping music help overcome an inevitable sense of déjà vu
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Chris Bartlett

Chris Bartlett

Chris Bartlett

Chris Bartlett

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