The Regal, Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire 28th November 2022
Skilful actors aged between 4 and 18 from The Regal School of Creative Arts (RSOCA) sang their hearts out as they proudly presented a local spin on the classic tale of the Wizard of OZ, written by the RSOCA principle, Dr Mia Gordon.
Situated in the ancient market town of Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, The Regal has become a spectacular hub for showcasing creative talent, particularly through theatre, and last night’s Wizard of OZ performance was no exception. Tickets cost £5 per adult, which was exceptionally well priced, with majority of seats filled.
Doors opened at 5:45pm ready for a prompt 6:30pm start, and volunteers welcomed audiences, tentatively directing them to the bar before an hour-long performance in the auditorium.
After a musical introduction the curtains were drawn to reveal Dorothy displaced in the land of OZ, following a rogue tornado which separated her from her hometown in Tenbury. Flashing lights with stage smoke portray this stormy scene.
A modern whiteboard projected scenic images towards the back of the stage, allowing for smooth and fast set changes. As the show progressed, Dorothy met the munchkins, who are powerless creatures against the wicked witch of the East and West. Desperate to return home, the munchkins direct Dorothy to Emerald City, where the great wizard of OZ lives. During her journey, Dorothy meets a brainless scarecrow, a heartless tin man and a lion without courage, whose costumes all looked magnificent on stage. Hopeful that the Wizard would grant everyone their wishes, they arrive at Emerald City, where they’re told to kill the wicked witch of the West before their desires are granted.
The next scene saw Dorothy melt the wicked witch of the West by utilizing props, sound and lighting creatively. Dorothy poured the contents of her mop bucket over the witch, which were individual strands of silver tinsel, that sparkled under the stage lights, representative of water. Stage smoke also appeared, and the sound of bubbles helped compliment the scene, portraying Dorothy’s accomplishment in melting the witch.
Dorothy plans to return to Tenbury via a hot air balloon but, after losing her dog, the balloon flies off without her. She’s told to summon the good witch, who tells her to tap her shoes together 3 times, transporting her back to Tenbury. Dorothy’s magic ruby slippers play a huge part in the classic tale, so it was disappointing that Dorothy wore silver boots during Sunday night’s show. Despite this, both costume and technical teams supported the actors well and this showed throughout the performance.
The show ended with Dr Mia Gordon expressing her gratitude to everyone involved in producing the show as well as the parents supporting the incredible talent of the students involved, creating a heart-warming end to the evening.
By: Emma Davies
Journalist Student at University of Worcester