It might not be the greatest story ever told, at least not at this time of year, but it’s surely one of them. The Wizard of Oz follows the yellow brick road into The Rep in this immensely entertaining re-imagined staging of the classic story.
The story of Oz has become such a staple of storytelling that it’s hard to believe the film is now nearly 80 years old. But as this production demonstrates – a great story never gets old.
Liam Steel’s production is described as a ‘bold but faithful re-imagining’ of the classic story in the programme and that it is. The production is visually stunning and the striking set and wonderful costumes suck you into Dorothy’s world from the outset.
Matt Nicholson’s choreography is superb throughout, with a particularly wonderful sequence involving ingenious puppet Munchkins and a brilliant number in Emerald City.
Chisara Agor makes an excellent Dorothy; capturing her innocence and ultimate love for home quite beautifully. Meanwhile Ed Wade is terrific as Scarecrow and Lorna Laidlow impresses as Professor Marvel/Oz.
The standout performance comes from Jos Vantyler who makes for a fantastically horrid Wicked Witch.
There are some terrific vocals on display of which Kelly Agbowu (Lion) and Shanay Holmes (Glinda) stand out. And a gifted ensemble supports the production throughout.
And of course it wouldn’t be The Wizard of Oz without a Toto – played by the adorable Teddy in this performance. He even managed a little look out to the audience as the curtains came across at the end – a true professional.
This is an all-round thoroughly entertaining festive treat.
The Wizard of Oz plays at The Rep until Sunday 13 January.
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