Half term has landed and what better way to spend it than by heading to the St.Helens Theatre Royal to watch one of their amazing panto’s, The Wizard of Oz.
For anyone not familiar with the age old story of Oz, it follows the dream of a young girl called Dorothy (Mia Molloy) and dog Toto (Buddy & Benny) who find themselves far from home in munchkin land. After taking guidance (and a rather beautiful pair of red sparkly shoes) from the good witch Glenda (Jenna Sian O’Hara), Dorothy must go in search of the Wizard of Oz (Adam Melville) to ask for his help. Along the way she meets three interesting characters; the scarecrow (Reece Sibbald) who wants a brain, the Tin man (Harry Moore) who is in need of a heart and the lion (Scot Gallagher) who wants to find his courage. These three join forces with Dorothy and accompany her on the journey but as with all tales this one is not that straight forward as the Wicked Witch of the West (Abigail Middleton) is on a mission to stop them.
Who will be triumphant, Dorothy, Toto and friends or the Wicked Witch?
We watched the Wizard of Oz as a three generation family with our youngest member being only 2 and can honestly say that all of us really enjoyed it and we would highly recommend it as a half term family treat.
Reece Sibbland, who plays the scarecrow, does a fantastic job of engaging the audience throughout and regularly encourages audience participation, maybe a little too much if you are sat at the front. Scot Gallagher was oneof my favourites and makes for a very loveable lion. Whereas Abigail Middleton makes such a convincing Wicked Witch that she even had our little one captivated every time she came on stage, we are still unsure if Layla was frozen in awe or fear or a mix of the two but what ever it was she certainly sat the stillest when ever the Wicked Witch was on stage and loved booing shouting back at her.
The Wizard of Oz isn’t just about the acting though, it is also full of wonderful dancing, fantastic songs and some very impressive solos, especially Mia Molloy’s (Dorothy) rendition of “Somewhere over the rainbow” which was truly beautiful.
It was also lovely to see some of the younger dancers returning to the stage as due to Covid restrictions they haven’t been in the last few shows we watched and they were definitely missed. Seeing how much they enjoy being up on the stage adds an extra level of joy to the production.
Once again Regal Entertainments Ltd have done a wonderful job of showcasing a traditional tale and giving it a modern twist. It is told in such a way that both children and adults will enjoy it from start to finish with jokes, songs and a few cheeky innuendos! Highly recommended.
The Wizard of Oz is at the St. Helens Theatre Royal from 11th-20th February 2022.
Tickets cost from £13 to book tickets visit www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com or call the box office on 01744 756000.
(We were gifted tickets in exchange for an honest review).