Anyone that knows me will tell you that I love going to the theatre. Over the years I have watched hundreds of shows in London, other European cities and New York. For me, nothing beats watching brilliant actors performing to a live audience, especially when they are joined by a love orchestra. London’s wizard had me excited!
Last week I popped along to the famous London Palladium to watch the latest celebrity version of ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ It was the first musical I had seen this year and I was intrigued because it included a well known comedian, Jason Manford as the lion and a UK TV legend, Gary Wilmot as the Wizard himself.
Dorothy was played by Georgina Onuorah who is fairly new to theatre, having recently graduated but having already impressed audiences in ‘Oklahoma.’ Her voice was stunning and her smile was infectious. Her charisma and skill made Dorothy relatable and helped to keep the narrative going smoothly. She was supported by Christina Bianco as Glinda. Christina had previously acted in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Raincoat. Her range was incredible and she came across brilliantly too.
Using a screen to show certain events, with videos and animation, was a great idea. It was a clever way to allow them to change sets whilst moving the story on.
When I went, Diversity’s Ashley Banjo was off so the Tin Man was played by an understudy. He was an excellent dancer and I would never have guessed he wasn’t part of the main cast (unless I had been expecting Ashley – which I was).
The lion was played by Louis Gaunt. He had been successful in the West End version of Mary Poppins as Bert. He was very funny and full of energy.
What an incredibly talented cast!
I especially liked how they altered some of the songs to include a little bit of rapping and some modern dance routines. A little more funky than before.
This was a lively production with some funny, modern spins that made it even more relevant. The singing was amazing and the dancing was first rate. I loved the backdrops, the pace, the orchestra and especially Glinda. I have since noticed she has a funny Youtube where she imitates famous singers. Check it out:
Thank you for taking the time to read my post about the current Palladium version of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ in London.
Have you ever been to see musical theatre? Do you have a soft spot for a certain musical? Would you go to see London’s Wizard?
For another of my recent reviews, have a look at The Barbie Movie Is Cleverer Than You Think – and perhaps drop a comment too.