Doha Players completed their first weekend run of The Wizard of Oz yesterday, following their first five performances of the highly enjoyable family-orientated show.
The group will take to the stage again on Wednesday evening for the next five performances including the final show on Saturday afternoon.
And this is certainly a show worth watching, as the cast do a wonderful job throughout, following interesting and at times inspired direction by Angela Walton which brings the story to life.
The ‘Wizard of Oz’ is one of the best loved family stories of all time, making it a very difficult play to stage and produce well. And Walton certainly lacked no ambition in her undertaking, using elaborate staging and tools to achieve her vision.
The show’s success is due, in no small part, to the efforts of the leading light in the play, Katie Potter, who makes an absolutely perfect Dorothy. From her first lines until the final scenes, Potter gives an excellent performance and completely steals the show.
However, she is surrounded by other actors and actresses doing a great job, and the ensemble works together to bring this classic story to the stage in Doha.
The three companions who join Dorothy on her journey along the yellow brick road are also played brilliantly by Don Rikley, Bruce Cross and Mark Slade. Cross as the scarecrow is another highlight of the show, while Rikley makes a great Tin Man and Slade gives a particularly humorous performance in his role as the lion.
He is not the only animal on stage though, as the production also features the acting debut of Henry in his role as Dorothy’s dog, Toto. Using a real dog throughout the piece is a brave choice, but it works perfectly, effectively depicting the relationship between Toto and Dorothy.
In showbusiness, people warn against working with animals or children, but this show also features a number of children – some as young as five years old – who make up the chorus and play the Munchkins in Munchkinland.
The youngsters do a fantastic job, and the clever choreography by Paula Doole and Krisina Cheffins sees large numbers of chorus members joining throughout the show, which they all do with obvious and infectious enthusiasm and enjoyment.
The production is impressive, and it must be one of the best to have been staged by the Doha Players in recent years. Potter’s performance is worth watching, and the play includes so many interesting touches that the show passes by in a flurry of colour, vibrancy and song and dance.
The music, provided by members of the Doha Community Orchestra and other musicians, is also performed excellently, and having such a strong group of players working throughout makes a major contribution to the success of the show.
This production, which features so many well known and well loved songs – including ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow, sung beautifully by Potter – offers something for the whole family to enjoy, and should be a huge success in its final weekend.
Tickets for the upcoming shows on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday are available for sale at The ONE
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