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Review: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at the Desborough Theatre

Jessica Alder

Jessica Alder

Review: The  Wonderful Wizard of Oz at the Desborough Theatre

There was no place like Desborough Theatre this Easter break.

H A Events was back in town with its production of the Wizard of Oz.

Not only could you take the children to join the cast on their journey down the yellow brick road, they could even meet and greet the cast members afterwards for a selfie. I mean how often do you get to have a selfie with Dorothy, a lion, a tin man and a scarecrow?

The Easter period is all about having fun and spending quality time together as a family. Not only is this production of The Wizard of Oz a great way to do both, the show also reminds you that quite often when we are apart from our loved ones, we do miss them, and that there really is no place like home! In the Wizard of Oz, we see Dorothy, played by Jemma Carlisle, desperately trying to find her way home and back to her Auntie Em and the rest of her family, but not before making some friends along the way.

This is a family show and suitable for all ages. I myself attended a showing this weekend with my nephews aged eight months, five years and eight years old. They particularly liked the Scarecrow played by Victoria Collins and the Cowardly Lion played by Thomas Kemp, who usually plays the role of sports coach at Furze Platt.

The Tin Man, played by Chris Sheridan, had the audience laughing as he received some much-needed oil in his joints to get him moving. The sound effects were pretty funny!

It was a lovely experience taking my nephews to see something that I myself had seen in the theatre as a child.  H A Events' adaptation of The Wizard of Oz was brilliant and just as myself and the children remember it from the film, with classic songs such as 'Somewhere over the rainbow' and 'We're off to see the wizard' as well as many more, all of which were great to sing along to.

Judy Garland herself would be impressed by the beautiful singing voice of Jemma Carlisle (Dorothy). We also had the pleasure of hearing Victoria Collins , the Scarecrow, sing 'If I only had a brain' which was equally as nice to listen to. All of the acts were brilliant at pulling off the role of each individual character especially the Cowardly Lion, who the kids thought was hilarious.

But it’s not all fun and games, as you know with pantomimes. There is always a bad guy or a wicked witch in this case. The Wicked Witch of the West, played by Niall Hemingway, received a few boos as he appears on stage and tries to scare Dorothy and steal her ruby red slippers, which once belonged to the witch's sister, who Dorothy’s house just so happened to land on and crush. Luckily, Glinda, The Good Witch of the South is there to protect Dorothy on her quest to find the Great Oz in the hope that he can send her home.

It’s lovely to attend a show where the cast make you feel as though you too are part of the performance. The four friends walked out towards the audience as they skipped down the yellow brick road and searched for lions and tigers and bears. Oh my!

If you missed out this time around, the cast will also be bringing the Wizard Of Oz to The Compass Theatre in Ickenham from the 10th until the 14th of April with various shows available to attend. For more info please visit www.hillingdontheatres.org

H A Events will also be back in Maidenhead this Christmas with their performance of Snow White at The Magnet Leisure Centre.

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