ACT Theatre Reviews 2021-2022

THE WIZARD OF OZ in pantoland Director: Shane Cross Choreography: Debbie Sutton Musical Director: Janet Featonby Antrobus Players The clever script had all the pantomime business without infringing on the original and followed the all-important pantomime format. Once again the Antrobus Villagers turned the village hall into a theatre and constructed a very workable set. Technicians, Phil Pugh (lighting) and Lisa Petherick (sound), gave the production that extra element to add to the proceedings. The stage and wing space has its limitations, but stage manager, Maggie Pinfold, and her crew kept the action moving without a hitch. The director successfully turned the Land of Oz into Pantoland. The much-loved characters were all there in a totally new and enjoyable pantomime interpretation. The choreography and musical content (“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” especially) completed this pantomimic fun trip to OZ. The character presentation was at its best with costumes, designed by Debbie Sutton, and made with the assistance of Ann Pugh and Sue Richards. There was a large young person’s ensemble: they were a delight; such energy and enthusiasm. They all contributed to the story telling. The chaperones must be acknowledged for their dedicated hard work. Glinda became the Dame. Each time Dorothy met a friend along the coloured brick road, Glinda was there selling the necessary prop for the character. For the Scarecrow, being unsteady on his feet, Dame Glinda came on stage hawking walking sticks, all to comic affect. Playing the Dame, Shane Cross was clearly a winner with the audience. There was one additional character to the story, a stage-struck stage manager who clearly wanted to be in the show. The Stage Manager took every opportunity to take the stage even attempting to present a song.