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The Wizard of Oz - Lighthouse Theatre Review

Reviewed by Kathryn - Standing In The Wings

Despite a rather tricky 2023, The Lighthouse in Kettering have managed to produce, sell and open their Christmas panto The Wizard of Oz, working in association with KD Productions.

The Wizard of Oz cast.

I was, at first, skeptical about the story of Dorothy and her friends being a panto, but my thoughts were pushed aside as soon as the house lights went down and Glinda exploded onto the stage!
Glinda The Good (brilliantly performed by Copper Topp) takes on the role of the traditional dame/fairy godmother, acting as narrator, guide and comedian. 
The energy of Tom (Mikey Wooster), Dick (Oliver Broad) and Harry (Samuel Wright) (who morph into Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion) is infectious and had the audience on side within minutes. Not only did they deliver the script with fun, they all danced and sang with ease meaning the story zipped along at a nice pace. 
The Wicked Witch of the West (Aimee Hislop) was appropriately scary but also injected humour that allowed even the youngest children to enjoy her evilness. The dance off with Glinda was a highlight! 
Our heroine Dorothy (Maisie Asbury) was sweet, sassy and strong - another triple threat, she handled all the storyline with grace and beautiful storytelling. She even managed to not be upstaged by the adorable Toto! 

Samuel Wright (Lion), Miley Wooster (Tin Man) and Oliver Broad (Scarecrow)

Huge shout out must go to the four dancers (Cora Drummond, Harvey Morris, Sophia Thorogood and Oliver Moriatry) who had so many costume changes throughout the show, they must be dizzy! Excellently executed dance routines with enthusiasm and freshness which were enhanced by the junior chorus. 
The simple but effective set kept the stage team busy with smooth and slick scene changes. Lighting (designed by Gregory Jordan) and sound (designed by Scott Smith-Andrews) were spot on with no lost effects or dropped mics. 
Direction (by Daniel Bell, also the writer) and Choreography (by Jon-Scott Clark) worked in perfect unison with each other. Musical Direction (Michael Lovelock supported by Mark Aldous on arrangements and original music) was well drilled and seamless with lyric changes to popular songs to make them relevant. 
If youre looking for an all-round family panto, head to The Lighthouse - the perfect blend of comedy, adult humour, dancing, music, storytelling and positive morals!
Congratulations to all the team on creating some Christmas magic - I look forward to 2024s production!
The Wizard of Oz runs until 31st December 2023. Tickets start at £12 and are available from:

Samuel Wright (Lion), Oliver Broad (Scarecrow), Mikey Wooster (Tin Man) and Maisie Asbury (Dorothy).

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