The Wizard of Oz Panto – Review

This afternoon we took a trip down the yellow brick road along with Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Lion in the wonderful and energetic Easter Panto at the Wycombe Swan. Oh yes we did! And because the panto is all about family, we took my mum along for the ride too. Big thank you to the Wycombe Swan as well as the cast and crew for a wonderful show today.

But First Food

We were very lucky and enjoyed the wonderful pre-show dining experience before our trip really began and, as always, it was delicious.

I went for the Signature Fish and Chips which never fails to disappoint. The fish was absolutely delicious and the chunky chips were divine. The portion size is always generous and I never manage to finish, even though it’s so yummy.

My mum went for the Wild Mushroom Tagliatelle with shitake, enoki and button mushrooms. She was so full, she couldn’t finish it but loved the flavours. She really enjoyed how the charred asparagus complimented the dish.

The children had fish fingers and chicken nuggets with fries and beans – what more could a child want! It’s the kids’ dinner of kings isn’t it? Well, it’s safe to say they hoovered it up and went in for the three-scoop ice cream to finish.

On to the Show

Once we finished our meals, we eagerly took our seats and waited to be dazzled. We really love the fun and excitement that comes with a panto. We were toe tapping and singing along to an eclectic range of music that both children and adults know and love. Everyone knows the story of how Dorothy gets blown to Oz in a tornado and kills the Wicked Witch with her house and this is just where our story begins.

Bobby Davro really stole the show as Haymen and the Scarecrow. With his quick wit and high-energy persona, he really got the audience involved. He was funny, engaging, charismatic and overall a real gem to have playing in this panto. The kids found him hilarious and his energy infectious.

He played his characters well, and with a bit of improv (and even a kangaroo!) had us all enthralled in their journey to the Emerald City. Starting us off with a rendition of the Wonkey Donkey, we got straight into the chuckles. And while the Scarecrow wanders along the ‘yellow brick road’ the audience may want to hold on to their popcorn (or hats!) as he’s partial to pinching your treats.

Heartfelt performance

Stevi Ritchie, who played the Tin Man, found Bobby Davro just as funny as the audience and seemed to enjoy the show as much as we did. He gave a wonderful, heartfelt performance (see what I did there!) He had a blinding voice which the children were wowed by and the adults enjoyed. His overall innocence was enchanting.

Lewis Denny as the Lion also had a magnificent voice – I wasn’t quite expecting what I heard when he opened his mouth. He might not be able to roar, but he sure can sing. Lewis played the Lion brilliantly. Without his courage, but with friends to help him, he helps get rid of the Wicked Witch of the West once and for all overcoming his fears.

Who can forget Dorothy who was played by Ellena Bacon. She sang, danced and twirled us along with her and Toto right through to the end where the Good Witches magic turns Toto into a real dog. Ellena’s voice blends beautifully with the others – apart from when Scarecrow tries to help her escape from the cage! Even with all the noise and drama going on, Ellena can’t be put off and sings beautifully.

Love or Hate?

We loved to hate the Wicked Witch, played by Harriet Bacon. She really got into her character and played the part fantastically well. The kids loved screaming, booing and hissing as she came onto stage. Everyone loves to hate the baddie and the Wicked Witch took it and went with it encouraging the boos from the audience.

Hollie Swain played Glinda the Good Witch with grace, elegance and a perfect smile. She too had the whole theatre dancing and singing along with her. Even the Wizard of Oz himself (Chris Casserly) captivated the audience with his performance, He had us all in stitches when his hat got stuck on his head, thanks to a little over eagerness on Bobby Davro’s part!

The whole show was wonderful from start to end. The cast truly made it what it was – engaging and full of fun. The costumes, set design, choreography and everything in between were also fantastic. A great Easter Panto to end the Easter Holidays.

 

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