“NOW we can cross the shifting sands,” were the last words L Frank Baum said to his beloved wife, Maud. Long before that, his marvellous words were the stuff of delight for children everywhere, most famously in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
C Nova, Victoria Street
This show attempts to lay bare the reasons why Baum’s imagination conjured what it did, but it never gets over that rainbow.
There is too much business with props and pauses, too little psychological insight. The text leaps from one bit of biographical data to another at the expense of dramatic pace. It’s too low key, too tiring. Those who know Baum’s texts are rewarded with numerous references and quotes, but ultimately this isn’t working.
That’s a shame, because Jake Addley does his best to connect, and might, in other circumstances, be wizard.
Perhaps it’s unfair in a review to critique a venue, but it must be said that this hot, tiny room is a horror.
Splinter-causing wooden benches are too close together, making action occurring on the floor (Baum lies down and kneels often) impossible to see if you’re not up front.
So one must question why the director didn’t take this into account.
Until 31 August