A Wiz of a show

The Wiz, Summer Youth Project, Spa Pavilion Theatre, Felixstowe, until Saturday August 15WHAT a show! With boundless energy and spade loads of talent the Summer Youth Project never fails to impress.

James Marston

The Wiz, Summer Youth Project, Spa Pavilion Theatre, Felixstowe, until Saturday August 15

WHAT a show!

With boundless energy and spade loads of talent the Summer Youth Project never fails to impress.


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Based on the traditional story of The Wizard of Oz, The Wiz is a modern and distinctive musical take on the brilliant story by L Frank Baum.

The singing is excellent, the dancing stylised and snappy, the acting top notch. With a cast of more than 90 benefitting from some marvellous costumes, a the professional services of director Rebecca Darcy, musical director Richard Healey and choreographer Suzie Lowe, The Wiz is the culmination of ten days of hard graft.

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This is an upbeat and exciting production in which every youngster is clearly enjoying the experience of being on stage.

Telling the story of Dorothy's transportation from Kansas to the Land of Oz and her subsequent adventures as she tries to get home, this production of The Wiz has a lightness of touch and subtle approach to the storytelling injected with great musical numbers.

Dorothy is played well by the skilled and big-voiced Charlotte Mitchell - her Aunt Em by another talented songstress Betty Charlton. The friends of Dorothy - Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow - are played by Dan Ablitt, George Jennings and Tom Mayhew each proving their undoubted skill on stage as relaxed and proficient performers.

And the witches - wicked and good - are portrayed by the hugely talented trio of Flora Charlton, Vicky Jam and Stephanie Hazelwood. The Wiz himself is an excellent part clearly relished by the gifted Peter Hazelwood.

While Wade Ablitt makes an entertaining debut in character as Uncle Henry as well as Lord High Underling, Toto the dog - alias Dudley - provides that “Ahh” moment.

This is a collaborative effort with energy, passion and enthusiasm provided in bucket loads by the whole cast.

JAMES MARSTON

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