Adelaide Youth Theatre once again prove they are masters of colour, charm and energy in their lively production of The Wizard of Oz.
While the classic story of Dorothy’s trip down the Yellow Brick Road has often been told and performed on stage, Adelaide Youth Theatre has managed to put their personal stamp on it. The play features many (but not too many) original and modernised jokes, as well as some pretty wacky dancing, interesting interpretations of characters and almost fluorescent costumes. It’s easy to tell that each actor made their character their own; each personality being bright enough to make sure none are overshadowed.
The Rubies Cast, one half of Adelaide Youth Theatre’s large collection of wonderful actors, did a fantastic job in the opening performance. Madeline Grey is a near perfect Dorothy, just as Georgia Bolton is an excellent and rather sassy, Wicked Witch. Dorothy’s friends and supporting characters, the Scarecrow (Benji Riggs), the Tin Man (Wade Lindstrom) and the Lion (Jamie Hornsby) could easily have had a separate show of their own. All three were incredibly charismatic and funny, using their character’s flaws to their benefit.
The star of the show for at least the first twenty minutes was, of course, Toto the dog (Burkley). The adorable puppy behaved well on stage, giving me the impression that she’s probably acted before, or just has a passion for the theatre! When Dorothy arrives in Oz she finds Toto magically transformed into a human (Sascha Czuchwicki), who plays the part of doting doggy and sidekick incredibly well. This transformation, while not a major plot point, is an interesting way of changing up the original tale and allowing another actress to show her talents.
The cast of this performance were almost all triple-threats. Dancing and singing were as much a part of this show as the acting and no one disappointed in any area. Glinda’s (Tayla Coad) first song set the ball rolling for the great musical numbers. The Jitterbug song was pretty catchy… I even found myself humming it while leaving. The ensemble, even the younger members, all performed spectacularly well as a group.
The costumes and set pieces were all fantastic and really brought the bright and magical Oz to life, especially when in contrast to the sepia toned Kansas. The use of a projected background is a good way of making the stage more dynamic, but a few technical flaws and out-of-sync audio effects ruined the effect in this first performance. Despite this, there were some very cool bits, for example, the twister that picks up Dorothy’s house is made quite dramatic by music and lighting, and the mechanical head of the Wizard (Nathan Stafford) looks intimidating.
The Yellow Brick Road has been oft-trot by countless Dorothys, but the charm and talent of Adelaide Youth Theatre’s members makes this performance stand out from the crowd.
Reviewed by James Rudd
Venue: Royalty Theatre, 65 Angas St
Season: 24-26 January
Duration: 2 Hours including 20 minute interval
Tickets: $20.00-$30.00, $90.00 for Family (2a + 2c)
Bookings: Through BASS
Photo Credit: Adelaide Youth Theatre Facebook Page