This is the second time I've seen this show. Went on 1st December and it was creaking along like it had been running for twenty years. Nobody seemed to have their heart in it. Lacklustre was the word that came to mind. When I saw this two months ago the performances were crackling and dynamic..last night as wet as the rain outside. Danielle Hope is fairly consistent but she lacks "star quality" for me and I found her Over the Rainbow underpowered. Michael Crawford looked tired and didn't get laughs. Even the Scarecrow and Tin Man found it hard going. The sets won me over again despite there being an unscheduled stop for some sticking scenery, they were still impressive. Business wasn't good and a half full Palladium is a sorry sight and I know for certain many seats were discounted. After the Christmas peak I would be surprised if this show can keep running at these audience levels. Perhaps it will be sorted out at the cast change time in February one way or another. Disappointing overall. - Stuart
02 Dec 11
This stage production was fantastic, I thought the wicked witch was the best, but the rest of the cast was wonderful, I was singing along, even the dog was amazing. go and see this show you will not be disappointed. - wendy benson
29 Aug 11
Unbelievable, it was FANTASTIC. everything was great, the actors were stunning.
i just want to know how they do all that wind actions etcc..
Overall an enjoyable night at the london palladium :) - Gareth Holt
04 Aug 11
It's hard not to compare such a well known and loved tale to the film which it is based on, but one cannot help doing this when watching this production, and ultimately, it falls a bit flat.
Dorothy is competent but fails to connect to the audience. Her songs are sung well but without any real emotion or heart. The extra songs written for the production were not very memorable. Out of the cast, the lion and the wicked witch were probably the best, but the tin-man and scarecrow lacked any true connection to the audience and were not a patch on the original actors. Michael Crawford's numbers were uninspired and he does not appear on stage very much so if you are going especially to see him you will be disappointed.
The rest of the cast were competent but there were just not ENOUGH of them! There are about 10 munchkins in total and the munchkin-land scenes lacked any real depth or 'wow' factor because of this, not to mention the fact that their costumes were in two colours and lacked the spectacular splash of colour as the movie.
The set was well down however, and the hurricane scene was very clever. However, the yellow brick road could have been executed far better and basically consists of a revolving yellow polo mint that the actors strut around.
I also felt that the roles of Uncle Henry and Aunty Em were badly miscast, the actors playing them far too young to convey the roles convincingly. The dog was well trained although the 'wrong' breed for purists of the story (a west highland instead of a cairn terrier).
The show would be enjoyed by children but leaves a bit to be desired in terms of such a large scale west end production. Probably not one of Webber's finest moments. Summary: Competent but uninspired and lacklustre. - Louise
26 Jul 11
very well done
a very exciting, fun and glittery night!
07 Jun 11
Great production! Danielle Hope is an excellent Dorothy and Hannah Waddingham and Emily Tierney are excellent as well. The whole cast does a great job, and the additional songs work well with the existing Oz classics. The sets and costumes are amazing, and I love that they did not try to copy the film design. It's a very well done, entertaining production. - Michelle
30 Apr 11
Went to see Wizard of Oz last night, was a brilliant production, it has so many negative comments and I cannot understand why. The computer graphics were amazing and all actors were very good. Yes, Michael Crawford is not in it much, but in the orginal film, the 'wizard' is not in it much either - just a big loud voice until the machine breaks and he appears, so understand why he wasn't in it much! Totally worth going, I would love to go again. - Anna
28 Apr 11
Andrew Lloyd Webber has claimed that The Wizard of Oz has never been staged successfully which is not strictly true as I can remember a wonderful Christmas production at the Palace Theatre in Westcliff about fifteen years ago. What this production proves however is that if you stay true to a much loved film and invest in a lavish and inventive design the result is a show which deserves to be a long running success. Robert Jones is the major contributor, taking us from a sepia-tinged Kansas via an impressive tornado to a technicolour Oz with the best use of a revolve since His Dark Materials. Thankfully Lloyd Webber has not repeated his mistake with Love Never Dies and every character is immediately recognisable from the film and all the familiar songs are superbly performed. Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice have added some new songs, most notably one for the Wicked Witch (who is definitely not Elphaba) and a beautiful anthem to home which is as good as anything ALW has come up with for twenty years. Danielle Hope as Dorothy is as good as her TV auditions suggested she would be, if lacking in vulnerability, Michael Crawford brings loads of personality to the Wizard even if he doesn't have that much to do and Edward Baker-Duly is impressive as tap dancing Tin Man. The Wizard of Oz is guaranteed to be a success thanks to the film's vast fan base and the BBC's free publicity, but this production fully deserves to be a huge family favourite. - David Baxter
09 Apr 11
I think Danielle (Dorothy) has lots of promise - not quite realised in this show as yet. She needs to do her own thing more - it seems to me that, if anything, she has been given too much direction. The effects and staging are seriously impressive and the music and orchestration I found very enjoyable. A bit more heart in the acting and this show will be a big hit, I reckon. - Tony Hindle
27 Mar 11
I really liked this production. Much better than the overrated "Wicked". Loved the sepia to colour effect, the cyclone and the performances of the Tin Man, Scarecrow,Lion and, best of all, Hannah Waddingham as the witch. Danielle Hope makes a creditable stage debut.Although I am not a great ALW fan his songs here worked well and I liked the low key ending and the way they resisted finishing with a big singalong number. I realise this disappointed some audience members but this was a good ending to a well directed and thought out production which was not, as some have suggested, a pantomime style show. My only criticism was that Arlene Phillips choreography was distinctly uninspired. - Diane
08 Mar 11
A really spectacular production (as befits the Palladium). The tornado scene uses set and projections to great effect (unfortunately the same can't be said for Dorothy's return home at the end of the show which was very poorly done in comparison). Hannah Waddingham completely steals the show and is a delight to watch as the Wicked Witch. If only she had more to sing. The orchestra sounded amazing too. The original songs are really superior to the stuff ALW has cobbled together for it.
That's most of the good points. The major bad point for me was Danielle Hope. I didn't like her on the tv show and she was worse in the actual show. Her singing is sweet enough, but she's no Judy Garland. There's a total lack of acting ability though. She just looks like she's moving from spot to spot as she's been told to like some wind up doll. The whole thing started to get a bit panto by the end too.
I went with low expectations and I enjoyed the show. - Steve
06 Mar 11
Set design is impressive and the spectacle is pretty special. Thought Wicked Witch & Lion were standouts, underwhelmed by Dorothy. Will do very well I imagine as families will love it. - Bryce
03 Mar 11
Well it was as I thought it would be--great sets and a good cast. can not fault anyone as they were all good specially Hannah Waddingham who was excellent and brought some OOMPH!! into the show. Danielle Hope was very good and considering she is on stage most of the time, she commanded it well. It was good to see Michael Crawford back on stage but of course as we all knew, the role is far too small eventhough he did a few other roles too but most people did not realise it was him in disguise. A good show but not the most exciting. - Joe Spiteri
02 Mar 11
i went last week, thought it was distinctly average..... have done a review at the link below
www.ginarowland.blogspot.com - rolly
02 Mar 11
I thought it was great. It is almost identical to the film (with a couple of added songs) so no prizes for originality but the staging was excellent, Danielle Hope was good and Hannah Waddingham was brilliant. I wish the set designer had been engaged to do Love Never Dies. - Toddster
02 Mar 11
Really poor production. The yellow brick road part looks really cheap and tacky in old Bill Kenright fashion. The Emerald City part is a pale copy of the lavish Wicked. Michael Crawford is on stage for about 10 min and does very little. Danielle Hope does an ok job but the best cast member is Toto which says it all. A very dull night. - Maria
02 Mar 11
The wonderful 'Wizard of Oz' - it has courage, a brain and a heart, plus spectacular designs, colour and lashings of charm - a hit with me.
(Score: Oz 5, Wicked 1) - Mikey
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