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Wizard of Oz Jr.

by on 19 December 2022

Integrity, Authenticity and Storytelling

Wizard of Oz Jr.

by L. Frank Baum, music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg

Dramacube, Twickenham Blue Cast at Hampton Hill Theatre until 18th December

Review by Lottie Walker

The good thing about The Wizard of Oz is that we all know the plot; it’s a familiar tale that first saw the light of day in celluloid in 1939 on the eve of the Second World War, offering a beacon of hope that better days were “over the rainbow”.  It is difficult not to draw comparison with the current difficult times in which we live and the moralistic element of the story is not lost on a modern day audience.  Integrity, love, friendship and authenticity are the themes that run through this storyline and when portrayed by a cast as young as Dramacube’s the message is all the more poignant.

The junior version of this play runs at just under sixty minutes, which is perfect for the attention spans of the small children in the audience … but would we miss anything in this abridged version?  Well no, is the short answer to that; the songs are a little shorter and the dialogue has been heavily filleted, but the plotline remains strong and the young actors do an excellent job of telling the story.

Dramacube is producing this play with four different casts, which must have been quite the challenge for director Matthew Bunn and his MD-Choreographers Heather Stockwell and Rory Cubin.  But they’ve managed to pull off this amazing feat and the Blue Cast did them proud, performing with a confidence and aplomb that is quite astonishing for children so young.

The scene was set very early on with offstage announcements delivered by the Wicked Witch of the West, played by Joshua Briggs in a manner that gave the audience no doubt of what they were in for once we met the actual character!   He was an excellent foil for our heroine, Dorothy, played by Isabella James.

Hannah Calaroo’s set – complete with yellow brick road – is delightful, as are her costumes and the projections used throughout the show are very impressive indeed. 

An hour spent in Dramacube’s company is always a pleasure and The Wizard of Oz was no exception.  The audience – many as tiny as the performers – were enthralled by the proceedings and, if the little people both on and off stage at Hampton Hill Theatre this week are the future of theatre, then it is in very safe hands!

Lottie Walker, December 2022

Photography by Simone Sutton

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