The Winchester Theatre Arts much-anticipated production of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ wowed near capacity audiences over six performances at the Rose Theatre in Barton Peveril College, Eastleigh last week. 

The talented young cast of 90 comprised singers and dancers from WTA’s classes of different dance disciplines aged between three years and 18. 

Who could forget the delightful chickens in their fluffy outfits!

Hampshire Chronicle: In the Land of Oz

The well-known ‘Oz’ story was told through 35 smoothly co-ordinated routines, all expertly produced and beautifully performed with a seemingly never-ending supply of lavish, colourful costumes, stage settings and special effects.

Such was the talent available to the production team, that they were able to alternate the principle characters for each performance. 

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Whoever happened to be playing Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion, they carried the plot with panache, with Dorothy’s Aunt and Uncle, Good and Bad Witches and the Wizard himself in fine supporting roles. 

Many of the leads and supporting cast have been with WTA for many years and, for some, this was their 11th or even 13th show.

Hampshire Chronicle: Chicken farmyard hoedown

All the songs were sung rousingly and dance routines involved Tap, Ballet, Jazz and Street styles, without a foot put wrong. 

WTA Principal Claire Goodwin said: “The teachers and performers have worked very hard this year and produced what, in my opinion, is our most impressive show so far. I’m so proud of them all.”

Behind the scenes, a 20-strong production team and many volunteers steered this show to win a magnificent reception, with Laura Goodwin leading the direction and choreography.

An audience member was quoted as saying "One can hardly begin to imagine the number of hours of hard work and preparation put into such a great production. For all the young people involved, the experience will serve them well wherever their lives lead them. The skills of disciplined movement, team work and communication will have given them a confidence in themselves which will be valuable in whatever they do. What they gave to the audience was pure pleasure and I’m sure they felt the appreciation in return."

Review contributed