The Wizard of Oz
Grove Theatre, Dunstable
Reviewed by Sue Knight & Chloe (age 4)
The Wizard of Oz tells the story of Dorothy’s (played by Dani Harmer – Tracy Beaker) adventure to Oz where along the way she meets the Tin Man, Scarecrow & Lion. It starts and finishes in Kansas and everyone took to their characters with believable American accents, all except Bobby Davro who played the part of Simpleton Haymen. He struggled to project an accent and his rather large amount of jokes led me to believe that the 1st 15 minutes was the Bobby Davro Show and not The Wizard of Oz! However, when he took to his 2nd role of the Scarecrow (basing the character on Worzel Gummidge) he changed my mind completely, his ability & experience of connecting with the audience was very clear to see and a joy to watch. There was lots of singing and dancing with up to date songs and many laughable references made to the local area. Glinda, (played by Jane Honeywell – Cee-Beebies), was a very convincing loveable fairy who fitted the role perfectly. The munchkins were played by local children who could have benefitted from a few more rehearsals but played a minimal role so didn’t really have too much impact.
There was copious amounts of audience participation, the usual panto booing & hissing at a very well-cast Wicked Witch of the West, lots of screaming (which my granddaughter loved as she is always told to stop screaming at home!) and plenty of ‘he’s behind you’s’. All in all a good afternoon out, which was loved by Chloe who enjoyed the whole experience. This was my 1st viewing of a professional pantomime. My overall impression was that it was more like a very good Amateur Dramatic production but I think that is probably down to the fact that it is only in one place for a very short time, so scenery etc has to be limited.
For more information visit www.grovetheatre.co.uk