THE WIZARD OF OZ, October, 2006
pictures to enlarge.
(Alternative cast on
Wednesday and Friday)
This production was a delight: fresh
and lively and full of fun. From beginning to end the pace was good
and the ensembles well-handled. The costumes were well-chosen, the
staging simple but effective and the musicians well-balanced, only
prominent when the curtains were closed.
Mayor’s portrayal of Dorothy was natural and well-contrasted and her
singing impeccable in a role which makes strong demands on a young
voice. (Hannah Burrows’ performances on Wednesday and Friday
evenings were equally worthy of praise. M.M.)
Cathy Burrows was a sparkling
Sorceress of the North and well-contrasted with Linda Mogford’s
Wicked Witch of the West, a terrifying character with the loudest
scream I have ever heard and a beautifully evil presence.
The three characters encountered by
Dorothy in her journey to the Emerald City were well played by John
the Scarecrow – how could he manage to stay so completely still
for so long? – Malcolm Mogford as the Tin Woodman and Neil Burrows
as the Timid Lion. Sound performances by hardy perennials of
Footlights Mary Carlisle as Aunt Em, David Harding as Uncle Henry
and Dennis Rees as Farmhand Joe and as the citizens of the Emerald
City in the second act supported the Wizard, who had a good
When it came to Munchkinland, the
Munchkins, Lullaby League and Lollipop Guild, what an endearing
collection of Children! Those faces, both angelic and mischievous,
were a joy to see. The Munchkin Farmer and Coroner were well played
by Sam Harding and Alice Ward, and Oliver Quinton was an ebullient
choreography was excellent and well-performed by the children, with
only the occasional anxious facial expression when concentrating on
the moves. The Jitterbugs and Witches’ Devils were well-trained
and the Ozian dancers delightfully diverting.
The visiting witches were suitably
revolting, the ghosts adequately spooky and the shrinking cauldron
episode convincingly presented.
The whole production was a wonderful
co-operation between School and Footlights and made an excellent