The Witches of Oz ★★★ The Vaults | Until January 14, 2023

The former Wizard of Oz has left in balloon, but Dorothy (Lily Downes) is back with her companions: The Scarecrow (Sara Nelson), The Tinman (Fizz Sinclair) and The Lion (Milla Sutton). Now the question is who will replace the Wizard. The two main contenders are The Good Witch, Kelly (Grace Kelly Miller) and The Wicked Witch, Adele (Fèyi Wey). However, there have been some changes since the last time the gang went down the yellow brick road. Dorothy is now non-binary Doro and Tinman is simply Tin. Also the Emerald Green City is facing a serious climate issue, the blizzard of Oz. To appreciate the fun of this updating of the classic tale it is really useful to have a good knowledge of the original. A lot of the jokes might be missed without it. All of the performances are enthusiastic and the audience certainly got into the spirit of the evening, singing along with the pop songs that are interspersed throughout. The performances are all directed at the audience and the characters do not really interact with each other. No matter, the election story is definitely secondary to the issues of climate change and identity that the show is concerned with. This entertainment comes with the Wonderful Feast of Oz, although this meal is an optional add-on. The food is quite tasty and more interesting than much dinner theatre fare. However, the decision to integrate the meal throughout the production does mean the audience sometimes loses focus on the show which is squeezed in between courses. Although it is advertised that the starting time is 7:15 pm, this proved not to be the case and things ran consistently late. Be warned if you have transportation issues. All in all, The Witches of Oz is an enjoyable night out and there is some wickedly good fun here.

Rated: ★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by The Vaults.

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