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Published on Monday, 12 August 2013

3 stars

Greenside (venue website)
5-10 Aug, 12:45pm-1:35pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

 Parents or guardians should consider the content of this show if children are attending.

This is a nice little idea for a show. Dorothy, along with other Wizard of Oz characters, are part of a dysfunctional family living in suburbia. The young cast work well together and the actors playing much older characters are, for the most part, very convincing, if sometimes a little over the top.

The show is uneven; a shaky start, where things can get a bit hammy, settles into something better and sharper. While the main cast bicker, Dorothy is downstage, drawing. Dorothy’s drawings contain vital information about who the characters really are – and with careful attention, it becomes clear, for example, who among the family is the witch and who is the tin man. Some parallels are a little odd. Not having courage seems to equate to being gay; not sure I followed the logic with that one.

As the truth unfolds, a lot of the story is revealed in tragic flashback. A few satisfying twists are unveiled before the end of the show, the biggest of which I genuinely didn’t see coming.

And there are some very powerful moments towards the end of this short piece. When some of the hapless characters make it to the emerald city, clever visuals are employed to unveil the characters’ true identities, just in case the earlier clues have gone unspotted.

All in all, this is a satisfying show. The performances wobble a bit, but the whole thing works together cleverly, and the twist on The Wizard of Oz is more than a conceit.

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