The Wizard of Oz

Salisbury Playhouse

An enthusiastic, able young cast delighted their audience at Salisbury Playhouse in the wonderful, magical adventures of Dorothy and her pet dog Toto in their journey to find the Wizard of Oz.

The saga, prompted by a tornado which whirled Dorothy from her home in Kansas, followed the Yellow Brick Road to the abode of the wizard, from whom she sought special spells to transform the live of her companions - a shuddering scarecrow, a cowardly lion and a tin man who longed to have a heart.

Amazing encounters along the way, and initial rejection at the Wizard's castle, provided excitement for even the youngest members of the audience, whose peals of glee reflected their thrill in the entire adventure.

This production, with a distinctive American slant, featured promising young performers, and excellent musical accompaniment from a band on one side of the stage. The little dog's excited bark almost stole the show before a replica took over. Children in the audience were enthralled - even when the wicked witch appeared!

The show ensured fantastic opportunities for the talented members of Stage 65 Youth Theatre and Jigsaw Youth Dance Company, directed by Dave Orme, assisted by Madeleine Ellis, and Laura Melville with musical director Jim Whitcher. Imaginative design was by Bronia Housman and choreography by Julia Cave; lighting design was by Sarah Bath and sound design by Michael Scott. Sian Radinger was voice and dialect coach.

The set, costumes and well-co-ordinated ensembles ensured a memorable show and won well-deserved applause from families who packed the theatre.

The entire venture was promoted by Wiltshire Creative, which offers wonderful opportunities for young people in a wide range of abilities to be actively involved in the theatre.

Stella Taylor