Review: Originality is key word for this stunning version of classic tale 'The Wizard of Oz' by Burnley Youth Theatre

The one word that springs to mind whenever I see a performance at Burnley Youth Theatre is originality.

For whatever production or play the theatre stages it always has a unique twist on some of the world's best known stories and classic tales.

And the Christmas production 'The Wizard of Oz' is no exception, bringing to the stage an adaptation of the play by Claude Townley based on the book by L. Frank Baum.

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Burnley Youth Theatre's Christmas production of The Wizard of Oz

While we all know and love the silver screen version starring Judy Garland, Burnley Youth Theatre's Wizard of Oz stays true to the book version so the red slippers are in fact silver. But don't worry, our favourite characters are still there, including Dorothy, played so engagingly by Kitty Levi.

The audience is taken on a magical journey as a tornado sweeps her away from her home in Kansas to the make believe Land of Oz where she encounters Scarecrow (Rayhan Jamil) Tin Woodman (Connor Harrison) and The Cowardly Lion (Joseph Butterworth) on the way.

This talented trio almost stole the show with their wonderfully comic interpretations of the trio who help Dorothy defeat the Wicked Witch of the West (Fern Fleming) to be granted their individual wishes by the Wizard of Oz (Logan Irving-Moss)

Both Fern and Logan gave outstanding performances as two of the key characters in the show. And special mention to Katie Gill as Toto, Dorothy's beloved dog. Katie spends most of the performance on the floor saying the occasional 'woof woof' and she totally won the hearts of the audience.

Burnley Youth Theatre's cast of the Christmas production The Wizard of Oz

You sometimes have to remind yourself that this is an amateur production made up of a cast of children and young people because the quality of the acting and the production is so professional. None of the 37 members of the cast ever goes out of character while on stage and they deserve congratulating for that.

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And to set the show to the music of the legendary Kate Bush is just totally inspired. It gives the production an ethereal and magical feel. Well done to director Matthew Baker and the rest of the team involved in this fabulous production.

The cast has already played a number of sell out performances to schools and the show is open to the public tomorrow and Sunday (December 10th and 11th). Tickets can be purchased online at www.burnleyyouththeatre.org

Rayhan Jamil as the Scarecrow in Burnley Youth Theatre's Christmas production The Wizard of Oz