Creative Theatre


West London

The Wizard of Oz brings with it a legacy of past productions and of course the 1939 classic film and requires a production to pay homage to that film, successfully create the alternative worlds of the characters and some moments of theatrical magic, a leading lady with innocent charm and a fine voice and of course a small dog that behaves impeccably. MMCS rises to this challenge magnificently with their very fine production of the show at the intimate Kenton Theatre.

The back projection of some very well designed and executed animated “back clothes”, with sufficient easily set on stage furniture brilliantly pays that homage to the film and sets each scene with a magical ease. Dorothy and Toto make a perfect pairing and she delvers the iconic “Over the Rainbow” with effortless control and is very well supported by the physicality of the performances from the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion.

The Director and Choreographer then weave in the other characters with a good ensemble as Munchkins, Crows, Trees, Lullaby league, Jitterbugs, and Flying Monkeys, in brightly coloured costumes, in some delightfully precise and well executed routines as we travel along the Yellow Brick Road. The whole production is underpinned by an excellent orchestration from a band of eight under the Musical Director crammed into a tiny orchestra pit under the stage! The combined effect is a very polished and attractive looking show that was a joy to watch

Craig Howard masterminded this excellent production and was I understand responsible for the wonderful animated back cloth projection which added a cinematic feel to the show. There were very many lovely touches in the animation like the horse moving in the Marvel scene, the torch light flickering on the castle wall the “surrender Dorothy” animation and each arrival of Glinda.  The direction, use of the stage especially the forestage walkway and groupings were excellent throughout.

Craig Howard’s lighting and sound design was perfect with a good sound mix and balance and excellent lighting ensuring those on the forestage or even running though the auditorium were well lit and never bleaching out the back projection or creating large shadows on it.