Gallery: Review - Ormiston Sudbury Academy’s production, The Wiz, Wednesday, February 5

Ormiston Sudbury Academy's production of Wiz.

Ormiston Sudbury Academy's production of Wiz. - Credit: Archant

As the curtains lifted on this year’s Ormiston Sudbury Academy student production, all eyes were on the four-legged starlet making her debut.

Lacey, an adorable west Highland terrier, was picked at a special doggy audition to star as Toto in the academy’s adaptation of The Wiz musical.

As she ventured on stage in the opening scenes to rapturous applause, the cute canine behaved impeccably, setting the tone for what was to come.

The 200 students and staff behind the show excelled themselves this season, with high standards across the board from set design and special effects to acting and musical soundtrack. The storm scene at the beginning, which carries Dorothy off to the land of Oz, was particularly well executed.

The story, based on the Wizard of Oz, then followed Dorothy’s quest to find her way back to Kansas with the help of a powerful wizard in the Emerald City. As she searches for him, she befriends characters – the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion – who all have their own problems to solve.

It is hard to single out cast members who shone because their performances were all so polished – from the main characters to the dancers in the chorus line. But the vocal ability of Laura Barnard as Dorothy and Bradley Clarke’s wonderful portrayal of the cowardly lion deserve a special mention.

A memorable characterisation of The Wiz by Ryan Parsonson backed up by strong vocals was central to the show, while Emily Kerruish added a touch of glamour with her portrayal of Glinda, the good witch.

Overall, this was one of the academy’s best shows to date – and the addition of a real live Toto was the icing on the dog biscuit.

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