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Wizard of Oz (RSC Version) Theatre Royal Glasgow, 22nd – 23rd July 2016

Published by: Jon Cuthbertson on 27th Jul 2016 | View all blogs by Jon Cuthbertson

Well a twister certainly hit the Theatre Royal last week with an energetic production of Wizard of Oz.


As part of ATG’s Stage Experience, in only its second year, local children were given the opportunity to rehearse and perform in a professional theatre environment. However, they were given much less of a chance than a professional performer and had to pull the whole show together in less than two weeks of rehearsal! Glasgow must have some very talented kids to have delivered such polished vocals and choreography in that short space of time. Lisa Kennedy, assisted by Greg Robertson, created some wonderful and varied routines which the children delivered with precision and energy. From ballet moves to modern street dance all genres were covered and made to look like they were intended to fit the classic score.


Anna Cowen as Miss Gulch and The Wicked Witch of The West had some of the best lines in the show and these were delivered with a great helping of sass making her for me the The Wisest Wit in the West! Managing not to upstage the 75 strong cast (but only just due to extreme levels of cuteness) was Angus as Toto. Also a newcomer to the stage, Angus seemed perfectly at home and worked extremely well with Cara McQuiston as Dorothy.


Another part of the Stage Experience remit is to have young people assisting in the technical roles for the production too. This is no mean feat and they made a sterling effort at keeping the show running well. It looked like ATG had put the budget to good use here too with some good effects making the magic happen on stage.


Ryan Moir, Musical Director, pulled some brilliant vocals from the cast and even the smallest of munchkins could be heard clearly. He also must have been delighted about the cast he had to work with - in particular Alastair McLeod’s lovely warm tone as the Tin Man which had the audience, as opposed to the witch, melting. However he did save the best til last and used the finale to showcase once again the wonderful vocals of Cara McQuiston as Dorothy. Singing a reprise of Somewhere Over The Rainbow unaccompanied to a full auditorium was surely a risk for this 13 year old, but there was no sign of nerves here, just a beautiful lilting voice with more than a nod to the young Judy Garland which left many of the audience with tears in their eyes.



This is a fabulous showcase from the creative learning department, who provide some great opportunities throughout the year for young people, and I am already looking forward to seeing what production they’ll pull together next year.


1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 1 year ago
    Great stuff, Jon. The next generation of Glasgow talent getting a fabulous showcase!
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