Wizard of Oz: The Musical (Review)

This year is the year of musicals and shows and I couldn't be more excited, although after the big expense of my car and travelling this year, I am somewhat regretting purchasing all the tickets last year. Nevertheless, they're bought and paid for and I'm excited to see all the shows touring the UK, without having to travel to London. First up, the Wizard of Oz, who are on tour until August. 

I was really excited to see this but when I saw the advertisement I was expecting JLS star Ashton, who sadly wasn't there. His character was still well played but it's always nice to recognise a celebrity. There was however, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK winner and Dancing On Ice star The Vivienne as The Wicked Witch of the West, although I personally don't know them. 

The Scarecrow, The Tin Man and The Lion were brought some charm to the story, however I wasn't enthralled with them and they didn't keep my attention. I do wish they had a bit more of comical element to make them more relatable, but instead they seemed very focussed on choreography. Dorothy didn't really stand out to me. I think she had a good voice and was an okay actress, but nothing special and nothing mind-blowing or standout. 

The part I personally didn't get was Toto. The dog was played by a human and life like and life scale puppet. It had multiple moveable components so in a way it was very clever how they captured the realness of a dog with the movement and mannerisms. However, it just made it very distracting to me. I understand that it would have been hard to hide the puppeteer, however they made her almost like part of the show and I couldn't help but watch it despite the rest of the stage being full. 

Featuring the iconic original score from the Oscar-winning MGM film including Over The Rainbow, Follow The Yellow Brick Road and We’re Off To See The Wizard with additional songs from ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER and TIM RICE, this spectacular production of THE WIZARD OF OZ will be a truly magical experience for all the family. The music was without a doubt, the highlight of the show. I loved all the songs and the way they told the story through the music, instead of it being something that retold already acted out parts. 

The actual staging was very limited, basic and stripped back. I felt it was somewhat lucklustre and needed more. They very much focussed on projections which didn't blow me away. My favourite scene was the yellow brick road, when they had multiple moving components and more than the basic 5 cast members. 

Overall, at the time I was quite disappointed and thought the whole show just made me feel a little disheartened and unsatisfied, however reflecting back a month later, I do think it was enjoyable, I just had big expectations that were probably too high.