THERE is more than a hint of pantomime about this show, and a great deal of comedy. Its Munchkins need only toddle on stage and people laugh. You could spend an evening admiring the splendid costumes and sets so full of colour and fantasy. Under professional director Barry McIlroy, the society has come up trumps with this show.
Children were spell bound on the opening night – the hallmark of an entertaining show. And while the musical content is weaker than many shows that this company has staged – there aren’t that many good songs – there is no denying that this one has a unique appeal.
Claire Sainsbury plays Dorothy, a role forever associated with the legendary Judy Garland. Claire simply gets on with it and does well, though her solo of Over the Rainbow comes early on, possibly before she can really settle in to the performance. Her three companions on the journey to Oz provide plenty of fun. Vince Kemm is the best in the show as the Scarecrow creating comedy with every move. It is no surprise that Roger Ganner’s quaking Cowardly Lion is a hit with the audience. With Peter Marshall as the Tin Woodman, the leading characters are as good as you’ll find anywhere in Oz.
Other memorable performances come from Sue Crouch as the Wicked Witch, Tina Lucy as a glittering Sorceress of the North, and a company of lady generals giving orders to their one soldier in a smart tap routine. The chorus of Munchkins, fabulously costumed Jitterbugs and assorted Ozzians is another strength. Without exception they dance and sing well, adding humour and brightness to a jolly and wacky show.