I was finally off to see the Wizard, the new production of The Wizard of Oz at The Palladium.
The show stars Danielle Hope, who won the starring role of Dorothy in the popular eponymous TV programme. Avoiding the gushy sentimentality that can come with the part, Hope’s voice is strong with just the right amount of vulnerability. I couldn’t fault her. This production also welcomes Michael Crawford back to the stage. Known best in theatreland as the original Phantom (and on TV as Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em) he is at home in this Andrew Lloyd Webber extravaganza.
No expense is spared in the production’s spectacular special effects. I was overwhelmed by the sparkling revolving set, the glorious costumes and the convincing cyclone. Each manoeuvre is perfectly executed, including incredible stunts hovering over the audience.
Along with the familiar classics, three new songs have been added. Hannah Waddingham is brilliant as the pointy nosed witch, executing a bizarre Cheryl Cole-like routine in one song. Dorothy’s three loyal friends are well cast too: Paul Keating as the dippy scarecrow; Edward Baker-Duly as a fantastic tap dancing tin man; and David Ganly the overtly camp lion.
Wicked has been dominating the London stage for long enough, it’s about time the original story marked its territory and this is a brilliant show.
The Wizard of Oz musical is booking until 17 September, buy your Wizard of Oz tickets here.