Review - The Wizard of Oz at Royal & Derngate, Northampton

The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz

Emily-Jane Clark took her daughters ‘off to see the wizard’ at the Royal and Derngate Theatre this week in a spectacular performance by Northampton Musical Theatre company.

I am a big fan of the original MGM Wizard of Oz movie. So I have to confess, when I went to see this ‘stage version’ of the film – I was a little worried I would be disappointed. I mean, surely no one can rock a pair of ruby slippers like Judy Garland!

Isla Mckay with Dorothy

Isla Mckay with Dorothy

However, in this instance I was NOT disappointed at all! The cast and crew did an amazing job of performing one of the greatest family musicals of all time and they had the audience singing and clapping along through out the show.

This famous story of a young girl and her dog Toto who are transported to a magical land by a cyclone, was brought beautifully to life by the Northampton Musical Theatre company and every single member of the cast seemed to put everything and more into playing the familiar characters as close to the originals as possible.

Actor and singer Samantha Perryman was a faultless Dorothy and I would even say she was just as good as Judy herself! She brought so much warmth to the role and my daughter loved meeting her after the show!

Gordon Ritchie (Scarecrow and Hunk), Ben Stanton (Lion and Zeke) and Luke White (Tinman and Hickory) had the audience in stitches through the show with their fabulous acting and comic timing.

Ashleigh Maddison played the Wicked Witch of the West- one of my all time favorite family film baddies – and it is testament to her acting that my youngest daughter was too terrified to go anywhere near her during the after show photo session!

I must also give a big shout out to the wonderfully cute Munchkins! Played by 40 talented children from schools across Northamptonshire, they gave an energetic and impeccable performance!

However, the true star of the show was Toto! Played by two real life dogs, he really did steal the show and was an accidental master of some hilarious ad-lib jokes. One of the highlights of the show was when he lovingly licked the face of the ‘evil’ flying money who had just captured him!

If you are looking for an all –round good family night out – then get yourselves off to see the Wizard this half term!

It can be seen until Saturday October 28. For tickets call the box office on 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate,