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The Community of Hungerford Theatre Company - The Wizard of Oz

19th to 22nd February 2014.

Review from the Newbury Weekly News.

Doggone good

Community of Hungerford Theatre Company: The Wizard of Oz, at John O' Gaunt Community College, Hungerford, from Wednesday, February 19 to Saturday, February 22

Community theatre productions are usually big, brash and bulging with a cast of thousands, and this show was no exception, with a good-sized cast of adults, plenty of tiny tots dancing and singing and a nine-piece orchestra with conductor.

It must have taken considerable hard work and organisation and the costumes alone would have kept a Far East sweatshop busy for months.

It was all highly entertaining, with some strong acting by the principals and an impressive number of scene changes and well co-ordinated singing and dancing by all concerned.

Charlotte Penny did very well as Dorothy, the pinafore and pigtails girl wafted through an adventure without much idea of what was happening to her. Charlotte kept in character throughout, in this juicy part, aided by a fine performance from Bella, a small terrier dog that was on stage practically all through the show and never put a paw wrong.

The best parts of course are the Cowardly Lion (Paul Hyde), The Tin Man (Niall Madden Blain - who moved slowly and awkwardly in character with his metal parts) and The Scarecrow (Hoffi Munt), whose straw costume, stage movements and facial expressions were all very impressive.

The songs were neatly performed with Over The Rainbow quite laid back and Ding Dong the Witch is Dead sung right through, with no reference to politicians, living or dead on this occasion.

It was a good, spectacular show overall and even had a roll-up, roll-out, yellow- brick road carpet. But acting honours must go to that small dog.

Missed opportunity of the night? Nobody lifted Bella up to take her curtain call and, believe me, nobody deserved it more than she did.