Last week saw Stonehaven Town Hall packed out every night from Tuesday to Saturday, to see the latest production from Ma Simpsons in conjunction with Spotlight Theatre, The Wizard of Oz.
With a local cast of youngsters from Portlethen, Stonehaven and Inverbervie, expertly guided by Director Susan Hughes, Choreographer Kelly Nicol, Musical Director Colin Grant and Stage Manager Davie Taylor, the show exceeded expactations and wowed the crowds night after night.
I was there for the final show on Saturday, and the cast and crew were given a well-deserved standing ovation. The singing, dancing and acting of the young stars was well polished and they had clearly worked very hard to make the show run smoothly and without a hitch.
Dorothy, played by 12 year-old Rosie Fotheringham on the night I was there (she shared the part with 15 year-old Ava Harding), is definitely a star in the making. At just 12 years old, she carried the lead part perfectly, never faltering with her lines and topping it off with a beautiful, clear singing voice.
She was ably supported by the rest of the cast - the pitch-perfect scarecrow (Ben McCallum) excelled with his physical acting, as did the tin man (Kelsey Herd) - who convinced my daughter she was actually made out of tin! - and an adorable cowardly lion (Holly Nobel).
The wicked witch (Camille Simpson) made for an intimidating stage presence, and played her part very well. A special mention must also be made for little Matthew Hughes as Munchkin Major, who impressively performed his rather difficult lines! From start to finish, this fast-paced performance of an old classic kept the audience entertained throughout and shone a spotlight on the local talent - every single one of them deserved a place on that stage.
The next show being staged by the company at Stonehaven Town Hall will be 9 to 5 the Musical, from Tuesday August 29 - Saturday September 2. Tickets from www.masimpsons.com