The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz has quickly become Sydney’s smash hit summer musical, with almost every performance to date sold out and only a limited number of tickets left until the end of the run. The London Palladium production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Wizard of Oz has been thrilling capacity audiences since it opened but it must leave Sydney in two weeks’ time on 4 February, ahead of seasons in Adelaide and Melbourne.

Leading The Wizard of Oz cast are Anthony Warlow as The Wizard and Professor Marvel, Lucy Durack as Glinda the Good Witch and Jemma Rix as The Wicked Witch of the West. Rising star Samantha Dodemaide plays the coveted role of Dorothy, her first leading role in a major musical. Eli Cooper plays the role of the Scarecrow, Alex Rathgeber plays the Tin Man, and John Xintavelonis plays the Lion. The ensemble cast includes Paul Hanlon as Uncle Henry and Sophie Weiss as Auntie Em, alongside Justin Anderson, Sheridan Anderson, Lewis Beer, Shay Debney, Sage Douglas, Mikey Halcrow, Zoe Ioannou, Bree Langridge, Rubin Matters, Scott Morris, Justine Puy, Michael Roache, Mitchell Roberts, Emma Russell, Dean Schulz, Darren Tyler, Caleb Vines, Stephanie Wall and Rachael Ward.

This is an outstanding show. The director hasn't gone for the edgy, sinister side of the show but taken a lighter almost pantomime approach. As a result, the target audience - children loved it, but so did the adults. It was fun and the cinematography was amazing. There was a good balance, the effects were there to enhance rather than take over the production. Some of the sound effects and lighting for example the lightning storm were incredibly realistic.

All the actors looked like they were having great time on stage and I got the feeling that they were all very passionate about this production. Toto the dog, of course, stole the show on several occasions and even he seemed to enjoy himself.  The choreography was great, so were the costumes and set. There was an orchestra for the music, which is always better than a recording.

All the people involved have obviously put a lot of effort into the show, getting it to a high standard with limited rehearsals.

If you haven't seen it yet and you are unsure where you should go, you should.