Monday, 22 December 2008
The Wizard Of Oz - It's a Pantomime...Oh No It Isn't
We took a trip to The Lowry Theatre to see The Wizard of Oz this weekend. Each year at about this time the Lowry do a show, usually a classic kids' favourite like the W of O. So, not unreasonably, the assembled throng expected a panto.
The assembled throng were wrong. What they got was a straight lift of the Wizard of Oz from the film - starring Lorna Luft, Judy Garland's mum, as the Wicked Witch of the West. And I say straight lift, because that was what it was. This confused the audience who had dressed up in costume for the occasion and bought 'light-up' wands with them for the dark parts of the show.
It confused me too. Do you boo or don't you boo? You see in a panto there is interaction, so when after being bood the Wicked Witch of the West just got on with her next line without raising an eyebrow, the audience simply didn't know what to make of it.
A pity really, this was a really good show. Not a panto though; which we all would have rather liked.
The evening was saved though by the Grandma, Daughter, Grandaughter (approximate ages 35y, 20y and 5y) sat beside me. Each had that indomitable Salford pedigree that made them doggedly determined to have an interactive experience. They must have spent months, no years, learning the entire script of the film and they hooted and howled the lines along with the cast. And their enjoyment seemed to be enhanced by the contents of the innocuous looking soft drink bottles that were passed between the two adults at regular intervals.
The youngest of their party was named Lewis. Someone sat in front made the mistake of speaking a little too loudly when they said,
"It must have been where she was conceived..."
Their partner added
"What the Scottish Island?"
And in true Mancunian style, the young lass's mum responded
"Nah Luv, the store in the Trafford Centre - John Lewis, I used to work there."
Now that's entertainment!