Association of Community Theatre
Show Reviews September 2017
THE WIZARD OF OZ
Bacup Royal Court Theatre Group
Director: Regina Arkwright
Musical Director: Julia Taylor
From Kansas to the Emerald City, Ruth Bearshaw, and her team, built a very workable and convincing set. The story was allowed to be told without hindrance and was given extra credence with Nick Daye’s lighting design. Completing the aesthetic picture were colourful and traditional costumes.
The creative team brought out the best of the performers. Musically, the M.D., with her excellent band, gave a very good reading of the score. All those iconic songs were so well presented. The director was inventive and lifted Baum’s characters off the page.
The version for this production enabled the youth membership to put into practice their newly attained skills. They were convincing Munchkins and City Guards.
Team work was apparent throughout: the ensemble was so supportive of all the principals. On the farm Aunt Em (Janice Purslow), Uncle Henry (Sam Greaves) kick- started Dorothy’s adventure.
In Oz, the Wicked Witch was given all the necessary cackling by Emily Wilson. She made sure Dorothy and Company had a difficult journey. Looking after the keeper of the red shoes is the Sorceress. Amy Singleton, with her glorious voice and entertaining characterisation, lovingly looked after the kid blown in from Kansas.
There were good cameo performances from Bliss Richardson as Gloria, Nick Sands as Lord Growlie and Stephen Woods as the Wizard of Oz.
Ellie Goddard as Dorothy Gale is a name to watch out for. This young actor moved, sang and handled dialogue so naturally. The three unlikely friends Dorothy meets on the Yellow Brick Road never let the audience down. To reproduces a role that is so well known, and to find something new to deliver, is quite a job. Patrick Duffy was weak jointed, nimble and endearing as the Scarecrow in search of a brain.
Just a little oil gave the Tinman movability and Darren Briefly was the heart searching Woodman making his mark amongst the threesome's exploits. An audience always wait with anticipation for the Lion’s entrance as it has such an expectation of the character. Jordan Barnes did not let them down. Jordan soon had them eating out of his paws, he showed good timing and knows how to lift out the comedy.
This revival proved why this show is always being presented; it is timeless and will always find an audience.