The Wizard of Oz by WLOS
The Wizard of Oz is a firm family favourite and it was lovely to see all ages in the audience at New Wimbledon Theatre. Luckily adults and children alike were in for a treat with Wimbledon Light Operatic’s production of it.
The show is full of fun, lavish costumes and bright sets. The Emerald City glinted under the stage lights and the costumes brought the surreal and lovable characters to stage. This gives the show a great grounding but the principal characters took it to the next level.
Abbie Minnock took on the lead role as Dorothy and her portrayal was pitched perfectly between innocence and a young girl with gumption and bravery. Joining her was Sean Anderson as the Scarecrow, Jason Thomas as Tinman and Russell Bramley as Lion. The 4 of them together forged a formidable onstage chemistry and their onstage friendship really shone. Anderson as the Scarecrow had a lovely physicality about him, with each of his dance moves performed as if he really was made of straw. This contrasted nicely with Thomas whose movement was limited and stiff. Anderson, Thomas and Bramley lifted the whole show whenever they were on stage as Scarecrow, Tinman and Lion although I would have liked to have seen a bit more character before or after they transition to or from these characters.
Charlotte Fisher took on the role of the Wicked Witch and I must start by saying, wow that costume!! I adore it! As always Fisher gave a stellar performance and her cackles got the character spot on. Glinda/Aunt Em was played by Sarah Grey, she was a wonderful Glinda, guiding Dorothy along the way but I would have liked to have seen a bit more gravitas as Aunt Em as she played her very young.
There were times when the ensemble didn’t live up to the standard of the principals. I would have liked to have seen some members of the ensemble to have more confidence and character drawn out of them. This however is not to take away from some of their talent and they had some beautiful dancers in the ensemble and those who appeared as both trees and crows delivered their lines with humour.
The Wizard of Oz had some lovely creative touches, the poppy umbrellas, the puppet Toto in Oz and the light up jitterbugs to name a few. These little touches gave the show an extra layer of interest. There was a slight attempt to modernise the show, with one or 2 references to mobile phones but this sat uncomfortably with the rest of the show.
Wimbledon Light Operatic Societies production of the Wizard of Oz is a success a real feast of character, colour and charm. Get yourself onto your own yellow brick road and follow it to New Wimbledon Theatre.
The Wizard of Oz is playing at New Wimbledon Theatre until Saturday 26th October. To book tickets visit New Wimbledon Theatre’s website.