Last weekend we watched The Wizard of Oz pantomime, performed by the Chameleon Theatre Company from Chandler’s Ford.
It was a hilarious show, directed by Geoff Dodsworth.
I interviewed the audience (er, my teenage son Ben, who did a review of The Ladykillers by the Chameleons last year).
Here is Ben’s review, in a Q&A format.
1) Who made you laugh the most. Why?
The two monkeys made me laugh the most because they were stupid and I like stupid characters.
2) What were their jokes like?
There was a mixture of wordplay, especially puns, and there was also some slapstick. There was a really funny section involving puns linked with sweets, and there were many fourth wall breaks. The bad puns were a running gag, and the other characters disliked it when others made them.
3) Were there any reference to Chandler’s Ford?
There was a funny reference to my school. Many jokes were added on the spot so every time there was something new.
4) Did you enjoy the show? What was special about it?
I enjoyed it mostly for the comedy. It was unique as it was an original take on the story and had many modern references, such as using a Tom Tom, the Wizard playing on the X-Box and references to Harry Potter and modern music.
5) How creative were the characters?
There were a lot of characters but they were all very different. I liked the multiple storylines going on which all combined in the end.
6) Were you scared by the witch? What was she like?
She (the witch was played by Liz Strevens) was very evil and her seriousness made a funny contrast to the other more light-hearted characters. It was also funny hearing her reaction to being booed every time she appeared.
7) Do you think the audience enjoyed the pantomime?
I think they enjoyed it a lot as they took part in the play like cheering and booing and singing along.
To finish off, I want to reveal some (hopefully) little known Wizard of Oz facts –
1) The slippers were silver in the book. It was changed to ruby for the movie to show off the colours, as it was the first colour movie.
2) The Tin Man was one of the earliest cyborgs in fiction, as in the original story he was an ordinary man whose body got replaced by tin.
3) The Wicked Witch was one eyed and small in the book. The green skin again came from the movie (which I haven’t seen, unfortunately).
What is your review then?
So, my 14-year-old son has shared his review above. If you have watched the show, what do you think of the pantomime? Please leave your comment to share with us.
I found Aunty Em, played by Stephen Fenerty, a huge success. I was charmed by his (her) wit, mannerism, and warmth.
I was also impressed by Naomi Scott, who played Scarecrow. I enjoyed watching the subtleties in her performance.
The children were a credit to the show. Toto, played by Lei Lei Apperly, was absolutely adorable.
Once again, the Chameleons have entertained the audience in Chandler’s Ford.
Last Saturday, Chandler’s Ford once again became the centre of media attention for the wrong reason. However, my family and I were sheltered in the warmth of the Richie Memorial Hall. In our imagination with the cast from The Wizard of Oz, we embarked on a miraculous trip to the Emerald City led by the Chameleons. On our journey, we discovered friendship, love, acceptance, encouragement, kindness (Tin Man), and bravery (Lion).
If you missed this brilliant show, here is a video clip on Youtube for you to enjoy the highlights. Thanks to the Chameleons for sharing.
The Wizard Of Oz – The Pantomime by Chandler’s Ford Chameleon Theatre Company
Update: Wednesday 28th January 2015: A promise
Yesterday I made a silly promise to my son: if this post receives 50 views by Saturday, he’ll get £5 pocket money; if it receives 100 views, he’ll get £10.
I’ve just checked the stats, in 30 hours since the post published on Tuesday, it has already been viewed 110 times. And it’s only Wednesday afternoon.
I’ve started to get worried.
Update: Sunday 1st February 2015: The reward
This review received 330 views till last night. My son earned £33 for his contribution.
Note: Multiple clicks from one computer to this post count as one view.
Image credit: Alan Fry from Alan Fry Photography