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Set in possibly one of the most beautiful theatres in London’s West End is one of the greatest films of all time.
The Wizard of Oz, brought to stage back in 2011 by Andrew Lloyd Webber after his television production to find a girl to play Dorothy. Winner Danielle Hope played the role for one year and now runner up Sophie Evans has taken on the role, and a tremendous job she has done. Sophie is the most beautiful Dorothy I’ve seen and played the role superbly.
Thursday evening is usually a good night for theatre, however this performance was sadly not even half full, moving the people in the Upper Circle down to the stalls would have created a fuller feeling. With empty seats all around it felt like more like watching a rehearsal than a show but the performance by all involved was wonderful and the empty seats didn’t put them off.
In The Wizard of Oz we see farm girl Dorothy get carried away in a tornado, finally landing in the magical world of Oz where witches exist and people are green! In order to find her way home, she must go to see the wonderful wizard of oz who can make any dream a reality. On her way, along the yellow brick road she meets a scarecrow, a tin man and a lion who all join Dorothy in the hope that the wizard will give them the things they desire also. But is the wizard really as good and powerful and we are led to believe? And can he help Dorothy get back to Kansas? You’ll have to see the show to find out!
So what let this wonderful show down? Why is it rumoured to be closing? The acting and the songs (of which 4 were written for this new production and are just as wonderful as the rest) cannot be faulted. Sadly, it felt the budget that would usually be put into creating a west end show was spent on the TV show and when it came time to create the costumes and the props, corners were cut, giving it an amateur look and feel. Whist being a lovely story, the show felt like a pantomime, with budget looks and panto humour.
My seats were bought at the discount price of £25 (second row from the front and right in the middle). These were superb and were only restricted because you needed to look up occasionally. If you want to be close to the action these seats are perfect, or at least they were for me.
If you haven’t seen this show then you really shouldn’t miss it. Despite its faults, it is a classic story and still very enjoyable. A few more people in the audience would have made a big difference to the enjoyment though.