Soham Village College students cast spell with all singing, all dancing 'The Wiz'
PUBLISHED: 16:05 03 February 2017 | UPDATED: 16:05 03 February 2017
Soham Village College students have been casting a spell over audiences this week with their latest, all singing, all dancing, production, The Wiz.
The story sees Dorothy and her friends, the well-known trio of Oz residents, ‘battle their way to the Emerald City for a chance to make it home, gain a brain, score a heart, and receive some courage’.
“With energetic choreography, each scene has kept audiences rapt from start to finish,” said Jocelyn Whittle, of the school.
“Stunning vocal performances from Olivia Child, Dorothy, and Lizi Nicholson, Addapearle, showcase the talent within the college. “Other standout performances include Zak Potts as The Wiz, and Ellis Hociej who received a resounding boo for her wicked, all-green, Evillene, belting out ‘Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Bad News’.
“There has been nothing but praise for the production’s stars and its backstage team.”
Mike Rouse reviews ‘The Wiz’
Charlie Smalls’ award winning musical, The Wiz, has now been around for over forty years and was conceived for an all black cast
combining urban jive talk with Frank L Baum’s well loved characters and familiar story.
The creative team of Mikey Kowalczyk, Gemma Perry and Fiona Bartley for Soham Village College’s production have sensibly gone for a pared down, fast moving production concentrating on the songs. Some demanding solo numbers, present a challenge for what is a young cast.
It is also a challenge when it is obvious that there is a small budget, so the set is minimalist relying on the effective use of screens and back projection. Fortunately the energy and enthusiasm of the cast fill the space with lively dance and well staged ensemble numbers.
Olivia Child carries the weight of the action as Dorothy and looks and sounds the part, performing with an endearing earnestness that is understandable when you consider she is lost in a strange land, with a Scarecrow, a Tin Man and a Lion, has killed one witch and has to kill another.
Joseph de Oliveria Lloyd is a lovable scarecrow, Torin Fahy has real edge as the Tin Man and Jake Stearne’s Lion makes the most of the humour. Zak Potts is a lively confident Wiz, while Macey Bennett, as well as being one of the Dance Captains, is an assured Glinda.
There are two outstanding cameo performances from Lizi Nicholson as Addapearle and Ellis Hociej as Evellene, whose song and routine with the company in ‘Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Bad News’, is one of the highlights of the evening.
The orchestra, under Gemma Perry’s direction, is first class supporting some strong solo performances from all the principals, but the real pleasure of the show is in the smiling faces and dancing feet of the company.
Their joy in performing is a tonic and gives the whole evening a sweetness and charm.