The Pure Amazing Wiz of Oz (4 stars)

The Pure Amazing Wiz of Oz

An absolute delight of a Glasgow West End panto

To paraphrase Lizzo (from 'Juice', one of hits covered tonight) Paul Harper-Swan's pantos are like Chardonnay and just get better over time. While other, bigger budget pantomimes can sometimes be quite patronising to their core audiences, Webster's is pitched just right – it's camp and cheeky, yet with enough reverence for the art form.

This tornado spin on The Wizard of Oz may have a small cast of five, but there's a winning heart and ebullience which never lets up. Here Dorothy is Dotty (a sweet but smart Claire Hubsmith) a plucky lassie fae Partick who's trying to find herself. Tin Wuman (Melissa Davie) gets a fabulously catty cover of Sia's 'Titanium' (and what a gorgeous singing voice). Alessandro Sanguigni is lovably goofy as Scarecrow, while Lee Reynolds brings comic chops to Lioness.

Presiding over the diva anthems to empowerment – and striking terror into the handsome men in the audience as he jumps on them – is the irrepressible Neil Thomas as the Wicked Witch of the West End, whose barbs are as bad as her bite. She ad-libs and belts out numbers flawlessly, and is just an eye-roll away from evil: naughty, but never too scary for the wee ones.

It's all hugely great fun, and each cast member gets a chance to twinkle, as does Harper-Swan's gallus and clever script. But who is the mysterious, titular man behind the curtain? Nae spoilers here …

Websters Theatre, Glasgow, until Sat 4 Jan.

The Pure Amazing Wiz of Oz

Insideout Productions present a very Glaswegian take on the classic tale of Dorothy and her pals.

Comments

1. Catherine Rutherford13 Dec 2019, 2:18pm Report

Neil Thomas is amazing his adlibs so funny and singing is pure dead brilliant xx

2. Aimee Hinds22 Dec 2019, 9:14pm Report

Absolutely outstanding!! This is the best panto I have seen ever!!! Hilariously funny and the cast were pure amazing. Laughed from start to finish!!! Cannot wait to book sleeping senga! Yassssssss!

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