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Sunday, 27 November 2022

REVIEW: The Wizard of Oz at the Curve, Leicester

The Wizard of Oz has had a strange relationship with the theatre. Of all the retellings of L. Frank Baum’s classic children’s novel, the 1939 MGM starring Judy Garland is undoubtedly the best-known and as such, all adaptations will be compared to it. Despite its seemingly large potential, the wondrous world of Oz has often felt stagnant in the theatre and versions have only managed short runs before being relegated to endless performances by schools and amateur dramatic societies.

Just in case the one person on the planet who does not know the plot is reading this...The Wizard of Oz follows a young Kanas farm girl called Dorothy who is whisked off to the magical land of Oz via a cyclone and must follow the yellow brick road to meet the wizard and return home. Along the way, she meets a scarecrow who wants a brain, a Tin Man who longs for a heart and a cowardly lion but also has to face the wrath of the Wicked Witch of the West, who is after her magical Ruby Slippers.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Marianne Benedict | Interview

Marianne Benedict is currently gracing the stage as The Wicked Witch of The West in The Wizard of Oz in which she took over the role from Hannah Waddingham, She was part of the original ensemble in the show and was recently promoted to full time Wicked Witch. She graduated from Arts Educational, Her credits range from playing Vivian in Dirty Dancing, Understudying the role of Killer Queen in We Will Rock You and Debbie in Debbie Does Dallas. Her other include Miss Mackintosh in The Sunshine Boys, Catherine in The Girl Dusty, Gloria and resident MD in Return to the Forbidden Planet, Sophie in the Misfits (film workshop), Alice and understudy Bonnie in Loveshack, Stella and understudy Polly Baker in Crazy for You and singer in West End Musical Theatre Celebration. I was lucky enough to catch up with her and talk to her about her career...

When and how did you realise that you wanted to perform for a living? Very early on in life, I never stopped singing and dancing around at home and putting on shows.

You attended Arts Educational, what did you learn from them that you still practise or use in your career today? So so much. It really is a fantastic college and I still hear words of wisdom from the staff ringing in my ears.

Is there anything that you didn't learn whist in training that you think is important for young performers to know? You can't possibly learn what it's really truly like to work in this business. Only by getting out there and doing it will you know.


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Wizard of Oz the Musical: Theatre Review

The Wizard of Oz opened on March 1st2011 with previews beginning on February 7th. The show looked for their leading role, Dorothy, through a reality TV show which found the current leading lady Danielle Hope. The story is loved by everybody and is known to be the best family film ever made. The plot follows Dorothy and her journey through Oz to get the Witches broom stick and present it to the Wizard so she can get home, along the way she meets the Scarecrow, The Tin Man and the Lion. They all become friends and eventually Dorothy gets back to Kansas and realises the true meaning of Home.
This recent adaptation of the show is brought to the West End by Andrew Lloyd Webber who collaborated with Tim Rice for the first time since 1986; they have spotted some caps in the film where songs need to be put in, like for example Glinda and The Wicked Witch of the West both have songs now. The new score really works, I listened to the soundtrack before hand and really wasn't looking forward to seeing it on stage, however on stage it works but still keeps the original feel that the film had. The stage show was very much like the film but Andrew Lloyd Webber and his team has defiantly put their own touch on it by adapting the costumes and the actors have played with the characters but still all have the original essences of the characters that we all love. However I do feel there was still that extra sparkle missing, The Wizard of Oz must be one of the hardest shows to stage but there was still something missing.

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