top of page
Recent Posts
Follow Us
  • Twitter Basic Black
  • Facebook Basic Black
  • Google+ Basic Black

Review - The Wizard of Oz: a new take on the classic story

By Liv Wilson

The Wizard of Oz

Original Book by L. Frank Baum

Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg

Background Music by Herbert Stothart

Directed by Alicia Caruana & Blake Russell

Musically Directed by Julie Whiting

Choreography by Holly Leeson

Beenleigh Theatre Group

Runs until 3rd December at Crete Street Theatre Beenleigh. Bookings:

Photography by Creative Street.

Beenleigh Theatre Group’s production of The Wizard of Oz was a fun and entertaining journey through the magical world of Oz. There were classic elements of the traditional musical as well as a fair few modernized theatrical aspects that were very unique to BTG’s production. Having seen many productions of + it was nice to see a slightly different approach to the set, choreography and characterisation of the famous characters.

Leading the famous quad with amazing professionalism was Madeline Harper as Dorothy. Harper portrayed the innocence and kind-hearted character traits that we all know and love very well. Harper’s vocals were angelic and note perfect the whole show. ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ was simply beautiful- Madeline should be proud of her moving performance.

I was impressed by Harper’s acting and the overall conviction in her portrayal of Dorothy. This carried through to her onstage friendship with Hudson Bertram (Hank/Scarecrow). The two character’s love of doing right by others was nicely featured throughout the show both vocally and through their characterisation.

Bertram’s performance was filled with amazing comedic timing, hilarious physicality and heartfelt scenes. I am impressed with the depth of Hudson’s acting given his young age- he is well beyond his years both vocally and theatrically. ‘If I Only Had A Brain’ was an audience favourite and Hudson was able to showcase his versatility as a triple threat. Bertram is one to look out for in the coming years as he adds to his already impressive resume. I have no doubt audiences around Australia will find him as impressive as I do.

Michael Ware as Zeke/Lion was a total stand out all night. I was drawn to his fun loving and exaggerated portrayal of the cowardly lion. Ware was a clear professional and displayed a real connection to the character. He held the audience in the palm of his hand and had us laughing in all the right moments, cowering alongside him and cheering him on during his character development.

Michael Mills as Hickory/Tinman gave us a sweet and tender performance that was great all round. At no fault of his own, Mills’ vocals were significantly quieter than the other lead performers. His microphone wasn’t adjusted to the right volume for his solos which made it difficult to make out what he was saying/singing. The beautiful tone came through just fine, even with the lower microphone volume.

Unfortunately there were other technical issues throughout the show that pulled focus from the performers. The entire cast performed well under the circumstances and I have no doubt that when these tech issues are ironed out the show will be a hit!

Holly Leeson’s choreography throughout the show was one of the best parts of this production. It added a modern flare to the scenes and made use of any typical downtime between scene changes. Leeson had a great cohort of dancers to work with, all of whom did justice to her choreography. Standout performances from Abigail Ellerton and Aimee Williamson throughout the show, these ladies had total commitment to the various characters they played and brought a lot of charisma to the stage.

Alison Pattinson played the Wicked Witch of the West brilliantly and showcased her acting abilities well throughout the show. The ferocity felt by the cast and audience when she stepped on stage was a great reaction and testament to her portrayal of the evil character.

The set design and costuming were done very well and helped to tell the story in a way that was familiar yet unique in many aspects. Well done to the team of creatives responsible for this. I particularly liked the yellow brick road reveal, it was a nice touch.

Overall this show is worth seeing, there is no doubt that children would enjoy this production as well as fans of The Wizard of Oz who are open to a new take on the classic story.


bottom of page