What a wonderful show it was! Witchford Amateur Dramatic Society under the directorship of Gaz Brown has certainly developed into a robust and highly successful company of talented entertainers.
In the recent production of the musical “The Wizard of Oz”, the charming tale is told of Kansas-born Dorothy thrown into an imaginative world of witches, Munchkins, the Wizard of Oz and the like. Acting, music and choreography were of a very high standard making this one of the most enthralling shows this company has produced. The characters lived and breathed their parts, their singing was tunefully effective and the full-bodied band was particularly sensitive to the needs of the singers and dramatic developments. Stage movements were exceptionally effective and slickly manoeuvred.
Katharine Hardman played a sweet and innocent Dorothy and was well supported by a lovable Scarecrow (Adrian Peberdy), an appealing, sorrowful Tin Woodman (Ian Peckham) and a colourful Cowardly Lion with hilarious affectations (Steve Barker).
The strong cast moved swiftly through fascinating scenes that brought the drama to life. The resolute private (Maisie Peckham), the confident Mayor of the Munchkins (Sam Robbins), the fantastic Wizard of Oz (Ivan Green) and polished performances by hosts of Munchkins, Jitterbugs, Generals and Snowflakes were memorable highlights. The enchanting Lullaby League and Lollypop Guild and the secure harmonies of the Adult Chorus were additional high spots.
Evil witches (Sarah Boor, Helen Walker and Lisa Barker) gave us delicious terror-provoking moments and were contrasted well by the charming good witch (Claire Mead).
Other notables were Lord Growlie (Jason Oddi) with his posh accent, Tibia (Caroline Heppell), Aunt Em (Karin Peberdy), Farmhand Joe (Joe Robbins) and Uncle Henry (Neil Pilling). Invaluable contributions were also made by Scott Haddow, Pamela Brown, Carol Robbins and Harriet Maddox.
There was no doubt that a great deal of work went into this production and producers David Hardman, Lisa Barker and Adam Bonner and their team should be well pleased with the results.
Splendid scenery, costumes and lighting combined with the huge cast of all ages also helped to make this production one of the finest I have seen.