The Wizard of Oz
Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow, until Sat 3 Jan
Adapting a much-loved film for the theatre is always tricky. At the Citz, led by Helen McAlpine giving gutsy, note-perfect Garland, they’ve opted for a live recreation of the experience of the 1939 movie. Whatever the format lacks in audience participation is made up for with clever use of the auditorium: witches good and bad pop up in puffs of smoke from the boxes and the Yellow Brick Road actually extends through the stalls, offering more anarchic audience members excellent opportunities to try and grab the Cowardly Lion’s tail. Funnily enough, the best moments come when the excellent cast, particularly Cara Kelly’s monstrous antebellum Wicked Witch of the West, deviate a little from the screenplay and offer the young audience something to react to. The directorial team better their celluloid source in terms of live magic, too, as glittering Emerald Cities, flying houses and certain, ah, melting moments of theatrical trickery elicit genuine gasps of wonder.