Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Winter Gardens Blackpool!
Last week, we went along to see the Wizard of Oz at the enormous Winter Gardens Opera House, and it was sensational!
The 1939 movie holds such an important place in the hearts of so many, so we were a little apprehensive about seeing a fresh adaption of it, but any concerns were allayed immediately. This Selladoor production is based on the Royal Shakespeare Company‘s 1987 musical, and almost entirely faithful to the original movie.
Holly Tandy has a beautiful voice, and she did Judy Garland proud with clear and classic vocals, as well as a spot-on transatlantic accent for someone so young.
Sarah Tullamore played the Wicked Witch of the West, and it was like Margaret Hamilton had been resurrected; she was terrifying! Her performance was so high energy, and even to adults, her witch was truly chilling!
The stand-out performance for us was our Cowardly Lion, performed by local lad Scott Gallagher of Radio Wave. We missed out on his performance in Peter Pan last year, so this was the first time we’d seen him on stage. His voice was brilliant, and his acting second to none. It was so camp and over-the-top, but we loved his character and he got the biggest laughs.
The special effects and scene changes are the best we’ve ever seen in a Blackpool Christmas show. There were fireballs and houses travelling through different dimensions, thunderstorms and flying good witches, bad witches and hot air balloons! For such a visual film, the Wizard of Oz is not an easy story to put on a stage, but every scene was executed beautifully, from the poppy field becoming a snowy scene to the Wicked Witch of the West’s dramatic demise.
All of the beloved songs are in there, each generating an enthusiastic ‘clap-a-long’ from the crowd. Our favourites were performed in Munchkinland (special mention to the fabulous Mayor) with an amazingly talented cast of children, and ‘Jitterbug’, which was a cut from the original film.
The whole show just makes you smile, so don’t miss it!
Thank you very much to Winter Gardens Blackpool for having us! Get your tickets here.
Image: Mark Dawson