July 2001 at Leighton Buzzard Theatre
The Leighton Buzzard Children's theatre brought this fantastic musical to life.
Review by Andy Collier, of "Three Counties Youth Theatre":
It would have been difficult to forecast that two four years olds who both made their debut on stage as royal princesses in the Leighton Buzzard Youth Theatre's production of "The King and I" no less than eight years ago back in 1993, would be starring as principals in the recent Leighton Buzzard Children's Theatre production of "The Wizard Of Oz" Kassey Rutland played Dorothy with plenty of confidence and had the ability to act the different moods that Dorothy goes through on her adventure to the land of Oz and Abigail Allsopp played the cowardly lion with lots of energy and she also pulled off the big contrast between the two main moods of the lion. Both sang musically throughout and there were several other excellent performances including Matthew Lee's Tin man and Chloe Cromack's Scarecrow.
Louisa Telling portrayed a canny wicked witch and others who came over well were the various munchkins with their crazy mayor! (Jamie Gallagher) Often the strength of a show lies in its crowd and chorus work and in this production there was a continuous change of characters all very well portrayed and they seemed to be re-costumed with brilliantly effective costumes that had considerable imagination.
The other members of this large cast gave everything to bring good atmosphere and character to the different scenes. The show was very bright and lively throughout and great credit must go to the production team particularly director Sally Allsopp. She brought together a team that had obviously worked really hard to bring good effects, (not always successful in youth productions!) and steady lighting as well as efficient stage managing with the quick changes that were necessary to bring the effect of the changes that occur throughout. On a boiling hot summer afternoon the nearly full house gave the cast and everyone connected a huge applause.
Congratulations Leighton Buzzard Children's Theatre!!