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Review: THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ, Tron Theatre

Review of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at Glasgow's Tron Theatre

Review: THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ, Tron Theatre

Review: THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ, Tron Theatre

Oh, the Tron Theatre annual pantomime. The jewel in my Glasgow festive theatre-going crown. Writer and performer Johnny McKnight rotates between starring in his productions at the Tron and the Macrobert Arts Centre in Stirling and was due to take the lead in 2020's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. A dream of a show, what could possibly go wrong?

Well, we know what went wrong. And two years later it is FINALLY time for Dorothy Blawna-Gale to take her place in the limelight. Living in Tronsas with her beloved dog Tronto and three ungrateful weans, Dorothy finds herself caught up in a tornado and transported to a different land. When her house accidentally lands on the Wicked Witch of the East (end) Dorothy finds herself with a brand new pair of sparkly red shoes that are magically fused to her feet.

While the script is perfect for me (a full country dance number and pop culture references to Strictly Come Dancing and And Just Like That) there is a fair bit that might go over wee ones heads. There are still a lot of big laughs to be had with fart jokes and general silliness. The writing is always clever and even the gags poking fun at other theatres in the area could never be classed as cheap.

One of the many things that makes the Tron panto special is that in a slightly smaller venue, the audience feel a bit more involved. McKnight is known for his adlibs and quickfire comebacks and he never disappoints with audience interaction.

As with many pantomimes the story can get a bit lost in the chaos but a tight cast holds the show together. Katie Barnett is a spectacular Wicked Witch of the West and is so brilliantly sassy it is hard to bring yourself to boo. Lauren Ellis Steele plays the Tin Wumman among other roles and is always a joy to watch. Playing Glinda and the cowardly lion is Tron favourite Julie Wilson Nimmo who always goes down a treat with the kids in the audience.

Something that appears in all of McKnight's pantos is a Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" and I had suspicions that I was going to find its return quite emotional. Ending the song with a nod that a return to the Tron really is "no place like home" nearly ruined me (in the best possible way). Even the slightly less sentimental would be hard pushed to not find an abundance of joy in this pantomime which is filled to the brim with brains, courage and heart.



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From This Author - Natalie O'Donoghue


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