Director: Iain Gordon
Writer: Iain Gordon
Reviewer: Fraser MacDonald
Joining Dorothy and her pals as they adventure through the magical land of Never Woz, The Wizard of Never Woz offers a distinctly Scottish twist on the classic tale.
The Wizard of Never Woz may be the Glasgow Pavilion’s best panto offering in recent years. Packed with audience participation, bright lights and bold sets, it captures its audience from the outset. Never shy in its use of pyrotechnics and technological trickery, the Pavilion delivers an engaging exploration of Never Woz for adults and children alike.
Pavilion stalwarts Dean Park (Leo the Lion), Nicola Park (Glinda the Good Fairy) and retro pop star Christian (Scarecrow) lead the way on this adventure; as seasoned panto artistes, they are equally comfortable off-script as on. Disappointingly, Holly Jack (Dorothy) is not afforded proper opportunity to showcase her undeniable talent but nonetheless offers a fitting performance in a supporting role.
A running time of almost three hours means the final curtain falls with a sizeable percentage of the audience already on the bus home. Tried and tested gags work well, but a short and sharp production is what its audience demands and Act I in particular offers much excess that could easily be shed.
Contrary to its usual formula, there is little musical input beyond the expected ‘Oz’ tunes. Excluding its sampling from The Wiz, it is to its detriment that a show of this length neglects music to this degree, especially in Scotland’s National Theatre of Variety.
The Wizard of Never Woz offers revellers a Glasgow twist to the traditional story whilst keeping the tried-and-tested panto format. Whilst not without problems, the production will be sure to put its audience in the festive spirit with the reinvented adventure in Never Woz.
Runs until 14 January 2018 | Image: Contributed