The Wizard of Oz
Paul Johnson | 29 Feb 2012 20:35pm
Reviewed by Tony Flook
EPSOM Players gave its audiences an early Christmas present with a sparkling production of this ever-popular show.
There was colour, such as when the polka-dot dressed Munchkins (including an encouraging number of children) instructed Dorothy to Follow the Yellow Brick Road. There was eye-catching dancing when tireless Lucy Carrell led a large team in Vanessa Aves’s imaginatively choreographed The Jitterbug.
At the heart of the show were the assorted characters Dorothy assembled on her way to meet the Wizard of Oz. Loose-limbed Darren Flick drew sympathy as Scarecrow. His If I Only Had a Brain was made all the more attractive by the three crows’ strutting and pecking routine. Paul Falconer’s Tin Man eased himself gently to life as Dorothy oiled him to sing If I only had a Heart, with three lithe trees swaying gently in the background. Steve Green’s blustering but cowardly lion knew he could be King of the forest if he only had the nerve.
Dorothy herself, Lydia Marcazzo, joined in all these numbers to the full as she led them Off to See the Wizard. She did, though, tend to belt her opening solo Over the Rainbow, which should be sung rather more dreamily.
Laura Falconer hammed up the Wicked Witch of the West to the full, drawing boos from her first entrance. She was ideally contrasted by the too-good-to-be-true white clad Glinda who, as often as not, arrived aerially.
Dalton Leong was notable as the brightly-uniformed guard with a near-permanent, almost painted smile and stylised march.
The key to the show’s success was that everyone, whether in a major or cameo role, showed total commitment and played their part with conviction. It was also apparent that director, Alison Green and the team had worked hard to hone every aspect to such a high standard.
Let’s not forget Rosie, as Toto, a dog with stage presence, who appeared to enjoy the experience as much as anyone.
The stage crew did its best as it created location after location but, just occasionally, the stage was dark marginally too long.
Neil Shrimpton and his orchestra threw themselves fully into the spirit of the show.
Family audiences will be lucky if they have a more entertaining two hours at the theatre over the festive season.
- : user
- : 21/10/2008