Review: Wizard of Oz -Audience goes wild for Wildcats

Wildcats Wizard of Oz

Wildcats Wizard of Oz

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A cast of more than 30 youngsters brought two hours of fun to Peterborough’s Key Theatre at the weekend as packed audiences followed the Yellow Brick Road to see the Wizard of Oz.

It was the latest production from the talented bunch from the West End troupe at the Wildcats drama school, based in Stamford, with the six-to 16-year-olds performing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

It was their version of the all-time classic which sees Dorothy transported to Oz where she meets a quirky and colourful collection of characters.

Twelve-year-old Bourne Grammar School pupil Jess Briggs takes on the iconic role and did so with aplomb - her faultless rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow was the highlight of the opening scenes set in Kansas.

Magically transported to Munchkinland, she meets the scatty and unsteady on his legs Scarecrow - a showstealing performance from the excellent Izzy Ellis-Alexander - the rusty old Tinman (a great effort from Sephia Giaracuni to keep so static for so long) and the Cowardly Lion - a dynamic little bundle of energy by the name of Paige Briggs.

The highlights for me were the big, full-cast ensemble numbers, particularly Ding Dong The Witch is Dead - packed with energy and enthusiasm, not to mention admirable singing and dancing from some clearly very young ones.

The sets were simple - and needed to be to get everyone on stage - and the music was just right, allowing the performers’ voices to be heard.