REVIEW: The Pure Amazing Wizard of Oz – Cottiers Theatre, Glasgow

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 08.55.14There may be bigger casts, more expensive sets and smatterings of well-known faces on stages around the city this Christmas, but this year no one can beat the Cottiers panto The Pure Amazing Wizard of Oz for its infectious charm, fast moving and engaging plot, and its cast, without doubt, the best sounding in Glasgow.

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 08.54.58Following the classic tale (reasonably closely!) with a few local add-ins, oh, and a Toto who’s a flatulent toad, poor star-struck Dorothy from Partick finds herself sucked into the tornado and transported to the strange land of Oz. There she meets a few new friends and learns a valuable lesson about home and heart.

The piece is punctuated with familiar chart hits (and ‘One Short Day’ from Wicked), cleverly adapted to fit seamlessly into the storyline and each is sung gorgeously by a cast who are universally deserving of praise.

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The set is small but eye-catching and brilliantly inventive and the costumes manage to be both modern and witty but reassuringly familiar.

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The cast are, to a man, faultless and the whole endeavour is well-judged, acted and staged with tremendous verve and utterly irresistible.

It proves that you don’t need fading comedians or minor TV actors to stage the perfect festive show. This quintet of gifted performers: Joanne McGuinness (Dorothy), Connor McAllister (The Wicked Witch of the West End), Neil McNulty (The Scarecrow), Alison Rona Cleland (Tin Wumman) and Lee Reynolds (The Lioness) pack a punch that many massive casts can’t muster, they radiate such charm that you can’t help but warm to them, and prove whole-heartedly that true talent will always win out.

A glittering little emerald-hued jewel of a show that will fill you to the brim with Christmas spirit and send you back into the cold December air with a spring in your step and your heart well and truly warmed. Give yourself a festive treat and get along and see it while you still can.

Runs until Sunday 29th December 2013

Cottiers Theatre, 93 Hyndland St, Glasgow G11 5PU

Box office: 0141 357 4000 or http://www.cottiers.com

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