Writer: Liam Mellor
Director: Chantelle Nolan
Reviewer: Emma Boswell
We’re off to see the Wizard…in St. Helens Theatre Royal!
Regal Entertainment provides a wonderfully wicked medley of magic, villains and lots of giggles in St. Helens Theatre Royal this half term.
The Theatre Royal acts as a warm and welcoming host to this fun-filled pantomime adaptation of the Wizard of Oz. Suited to children of most ages (and young-at-heart adults), this show presents the well-known story of Dorothy’s journey through Oz with a touch of extra sparkle.
The cast are energetic and likeable in their roles of the familiar characters. Eastenders’ Cheryl Fergison, as the Wicked Witch of the West, provides lots of laughs as well as making an excellent villain. Lots of nods to the death of Heather Trott will please any Eastenders fans in the audience! Liam Mellor, Simon Foster and Simon McGuiness present the Scarecrow, Lion and Tinman trio perfectly; providing lots of belly-laughs for the younger members of the audience and a fair few knowing smirks from the adults in the crowd, in classic pantomime style.
What makes this panto stand out from the rest is the unique use of music, dance and special effects. The up-tempo medley of pop songs compliment the storyline throughout and give way for lots of foot-tapping and even dancing in the aisles from some! Fireworks also provide some great ‘wow’ moments, as well as use of pre-recorded video inserts to bring the classic pantomime in to the 21st century. Regal Entertainments have also used local young dance troops to great effect – even with some dancers looking as young as four or five years old, the result is professional, sleek and well-choreographed (Sarah Walkers) throughout. Plus, even more importantly, the young performers look like they’re having a great time which is infectious throughout the audience.
The final word of this review must go to the one and only canine cast member – playing Toto, Dorothy’s beloved puppy. In a whirl of firework banging, children booing and music blaring, little Toto keeps his cool and delights dog-lovers in the audience with his on stage presence.
Treat the kids this half term and head down to the Theatre Royal for two hours of fun and frolics!
Runs until 30th October 2016