Back in 1900, when Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was first published, could he have ever imagined that over 100 years later, the world would still be in love with, and share in the adventures of, Dorothy Gale and a very special Scarecrow, Tin-man and Cowardly Lion?
Now in October 2018, Hastleons have brought this enduring story to vibrant life in their new production The Wizard of Oz.
The large and talented cast is directed and choreographed by Royah Hamed.
All our favourite songs are there, but so much more.
Gone is the field of poppies, replaced by a creative and thoroughly enjoyable Jitter Bug to threaten our adventurers. Not to mention the inventive way the director handles the tornado scene that carries Dorothy over the rainbow to crash land in Oz.
Dorothy Gale is played by the delightful, Natalie Spencer. At fourteen, this lovely young lady has a beautiful voice and stage presence that carries us along with her. But we can’t forget her charming companions: The Scarecrow, played by the agile Tom Golby; the Tin Woodman played by Chloe Hurst who makes dancing in a full suit of armour look easy; and Rick Baker as the Cowardly Lion who manages steals most of the laughs with a great Brooklyn accent.
Mixed in the cast is Tracy Sutton as the deliciously menacing, Wicked Witch of the West and Cathy Brown who is an enchanting Good Witch/Sorceress of the North. Andrew Pilcher is perfectly cast as the wizard.
The Munchkins are a pleasure to watch, with the two youngest members of the troupe, Teddie Hand, just three years old and Matilda Brooker, age four, looking adorable as they dance right along with the other Munchkins.
There is so much to love with this feel good production that will enchant all ages. The costumes, created by Wendy Hamed and Sophie Ringrose, are colourful and stunning, and the Tin Woodman’s suit of armour created by David O’Hearn is a work of art.
The Wizard of Oz is playing at the White Rock Theatre from Wednesday, October 17 to Saturday October 20 with matinees on Thursday and Saturday. Tickets are available from box office on 01424 462288 or whiterocktheatre/org.uk. Preview by Kate Hearn. Photography by Rebecca Brooker.