Reviewed by Rebecca Wong
There’s no place like home and there’s no place like St. Helens Theatre Royal when it comes to fun, entertaining pantomimes! This Easter, is no exception with the production of The Wizard of Oz which follows Kansas girl Dorothy (Mia Molloy) who finds herself in the land of Oz, home of the Wicked Witch (Linda Lusardi), who, thanks to some magic ruby slippers that Dorothy has acquired, is after Dorothy’s head.
Fortunately, in her effort to escape the Wicked Witch, Dorothy is guided by a good witch, Glinda (Lucy Kane) who wants to help her return home to her farm. Along the way, Dorothy meets some new friends; the hilarious scarecrow (Reece Sibbald), the loyal Tin Man (Harry Moore) and the adorable Cowardly Lion (Steve Arnott). The group battle the perils of their long journey to the Emerald City in a bid to meet the Wizard of Oz (James Lusted) who they believe is their best chance of helping each of them achieve something that they haven’t got.
The story is a classic and I’ve seen many takes on it before. I thought this production was really fresh, a bit edgy and hugely entertaining whilst still being true to the original storyline. The use of film and graphics helped to tell the story and the appearance a neon circus and a hilarious sketch featuring a shrunken scarecrow were lovely additions to the show. For me, in-fact, the Scarecrow stole the show with his humour and interactivity with the audience.
I went with my friend and children age 4 and 6; both were hooked throughout, which is a measure of a truly entertaining show. We danced, shouted, laughed and sang along. My daughter was especially impressed with the real Toto (Buddy) on stage, who behaved perfectly – obviously a seasoned actor!
There were jokes for all of the family and I found myself laughing out loud along with the children. This show has everything for any family. The theatre has a small family atmosphere to it and the staff couldn’t be more helpful. If you’re looking for something to do with the kids this Easter, you can’t go wrong with this wonderful, fun, wholesome experience.
It’s a 5/5 for me.
Tickets cost from £13 to £19 (booking fees may apply).
The Wizard of Oz is at the St. Helens Theatre Royal from 6-22 April 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com or call the box office on 01744 756000.
St. Helens Theatre Royal, Corporation Street, St.Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1LQ