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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

THE WIZARD OF OZ

(Thomie Holtzhausen as Scarecrow, Marc Kay as Tin Man and Anthony Stonier as the Wicked Witch of the West)


A fun evening’s entertainment but a seriously open mind is needed! (Review by Caroline Smart)

Sue Clarence’s annual adult pantomime – and this year, the emphasis is truly on “adult” – takes the mickey out of the time-honoured story, The Wizard of Oz.

Darren King has written another hilarious script and under his direction, the hardworking cast pulls off another evening of outrageous fun and nonsense. This is linked together with a range of popular songs and there’s a glorious array of costumes designed by Kevin Ellis and Gareth Greaves who have been allowed to let their imaginations run wild.

Anthony Stonier, also the musical director and appearing in his 17th adult pantomime, plays the Wicked Witch of the West and is at his best in Whatever Happened to My Part? Donnagh Roberts impresses from the start with her opening number and goes on to give us a delightful Dorothy (“call me Dotty”), an Afrikaans virgin meisie from a farm in Umkomaas. The irrepressible Daisy Spencer shines as the Good Witch, especially in some of the dance numbers. She’s also the choreographer.

Then there’s Dorothy’s whacky loyal and supportive trio on her journey to meet The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to help get her a visa because she wants to go to – pause while she swats away imaginary flies - Australia: Stepping into the role of The Cowardly Lion at short notice, Jacobus van Heerden gives a stand-out performance as Moffie, the cheerleader. With two front teeth blacked out, Marc Kay pulls in the laughs as The Tin Man, who comes from Wentworth and needs help oiling his rod. Thomie Holtzhausen is hilarious as The Scarecrow, a car guard who is transfixed by Dotty’s well-endowed bust.

The Munchkins in this show are no dwarf-like creatures with funny voices but long-legged and attractive dancers, Chelsea Blair and Fortunate Dhlomo, in the roles of Gonorrhoea and Candida. Oh yes, and Dotty’s dog is called Dildo. So you get the picture re adult entertainment!

While one expects the usual risquĂ© and below the belt jokes, audiences need to be made aware that there are a few “jokes” in this show that go way beyond being funny or clever.

The set by Darren King, Greg King and Bryan Hiles sees “the yellow brick road” extending as a ramp beyond the stage, allowing the action to move into the auditorium, thereby taking them closer to the majority of the audience. I would strongly suggest that the silver strip curtain is used less often as it reflects considerably – often to the detriment of the cast - and when the smoke machine is used, the smoke looks black.

It’s definitely an evening of good entertainment presented by a top cast and crew. Just remember, a seriously open mind is required!

The Wizard of Oz runs at the sunZONE at Suncoast until January 13. Show times are Tuesday to Saturday at 19h30 and Sundays at 14h00. Doors open 90 minutes before the show for diners. Drinks are available at the bar. Tickets R110 to R130 and seating is at tables of eight.

For all enquiries, block bookings, specials or food contact Ailsa on ailswn@mweb.co.za or 083 250 2690. Follow the cast on Twitter or join the Facebook page, Wizard of Oz Adult Panto. – Caroline Smart