The Wizard Of Oz, Pavilion Theatre, Worthing, until January 5, call 01903 206206

First published in The Critic by

Panto is panto. But a good panto has the ability to chime with adults and children alike. And so this adaptation of the Wizard Of Oz proves.

“Isn’t it good to be bad,” the evil witch exclaims after handing poison-scented flowers to Dorothy’s gang, while eliciting all sorts of boos and screams from the youngsters.

If singing and dancing floats your boat, you won’t be disappointed. A couple of songs are so energetic you might wonder what’s left for the finale.

There are the classic “He’s behind you” and “Oh, no you won’t” routines but very little innuendo – in fact, it’s possibly the cleanest panto I’ve seen, which might come as welcome news to those looking for a traditional show.

The Tin Man is impressive – he looks quite similar to his silver screen superior, albeit with a less authentic outfit.

There were a few microphone problems on Saturday but I imagine these will have been ironed out by now.

Fans hoping to see the star of this year’s show, Mario Falcone from The Only Way Is Essex, as the Wizard might have been disappointed to witness him on a big screen to deliver his lines on Saturday.

But he did appear in the flesh at the end for a meet-and-greet and, by the time you read this, he might be featuring a little more prominently.

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