The Wizard of Oz

Date 13th April 2023
Society Melody Makers
Venue Benllech Community & Ex-Servicemen's Hall
Type of Production Musical
Director Ralph Peters: Christine Peters.
Musical Director Eunice Parry
Choreographer Judith Jefferies: Val Bamber


Author: Lyn Emmerson

It was a real joy to attend Melody Makers’ Production of The Wizard Production of Oz. their first offering since the Covid Pandemic. The Company should have celebrated their 50th Anniversary in 2022 but this Production was worth waiting for a year later. Even though the cast was on a smaller scale than the Company normally field, players doubled up on characters and it really was a super evening.

Hannah Griffiths took the enviable role of Dorothy Gale with aplomb. I have seen Hannah in previous roles and she certainly knows her stagecraft. Hardly ever off stage, Hannah was faultless in both script and score and her handling of ‘Toto’ expertly played by Rupert, who I am sure received plenty of doggie treats on the final performance. Dorothy’s rendering of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ touched many hearts. Carolyn Wright gave us an excellent portrayal of busy ‘Aunt Em’ and rose to the occasion as ‘Glinda’, whilst John Bamber gave a creditable performance as ‘Uncle Henry’ and ‘Emerald City Guard’. The Three Farm Hands, ‘Zeke’, ‘Hickory’ and ‘Hunk’ were all well cast, later on appearing brilliantly as ‘Cowardly Lion’ – played by 15 year old Ellie Haf Scanlan, ‘Tin Man’ - played by Steven Blankley, and ‘Scarecrow’ – played by Juliet Berrigan. These three characters were all believable, each character played with confidence both individually and as a group. Caroline Ward as spiteful neighbour ‘Almira Gulch/Wicked Witch’, set her stall out from her first entrance on her tricycle. This culminated in a frightening characterisation of ‘Wicked Witch’ as Caroline pulled out all the stops to the delight of the audience. Full marks to Benn Berrigan who took the role of ‘Professor Marvel /Wizard’ at short notice. Minor roles were played with Gwenda Griffiths as ‘Winkie General’ with Benn Berrigan as ‘Nikko’.

Chorus members, both Adult and Junior were well rehearsed by Musical Director, together with interesting routines from Choreographers. I must add my congratulations to the very hard working Stage Crew, together with outstanding contributions from Technical Director, particularly in The Wizard’s Chamber Scenes. All costumes both Adult’s and Junior’s were outstanding, from Munchkins to the Poppyfield, Crows to Emerald City. In fact, it is quite a time since I have seen such a beautifully dressed show.

Congratulations All!  thank you so much. We went home singing ‘Ding Dong the Witch is Dead’

This is the opinion of the Reviewer.