The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Image by Suzanna Clarke

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

January 14th, 1998 — January 17th, 1998


Review by Olivia Stewart

The imaginative, fantastical world encountered on the journey down the yellow brick road has made The Wizard of Oz  a perennial favourite across generations.

MGM’s classic musical holds many memorable moments and images, and last year’s The Wizard of Oz on Ice lavishly brought the story to life.

The unfunded youth Ballet Theatre, working on a much more modest scale, has sought to distance itself somewhat from comparisons by returning to L. Frank Baum’s original book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

A nice touch is the addition of Dorothy’s visiting Australian great-niece Judy (likeably performed by Judy Hainsworth), who serves as narrator after discovering Dorothy’s diary of her adventures.

As we have come to expect from Ballet Theatre, the costumes and design are vividly realised, ranging from cute (mice and spotted-mushroom munchkins) to elegant (the wicked witch of the west and her stylised, enchanted poppies). However, there is nothing to match the beautiful transporting effect of Pinocchio’s underwater scene or The Nutcracker’s Snow Kingdom.

The lead performances are winsome – Rebecca Grennan has lovely expression and delightful jumps, and Connor Dowling, Rebecca Newsham and Kathryn Scott are appealing as the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion. It was disappointing, however, that Dorothy did not find herself en pointe after donning the magical (silver rather than ruby) slippers.

As in The Nutcracker, the technically accomplished Lauren Sosnowski is a stand-out, her imperious composure radiating a presence far outweighing her diminutive stature.

In his brief appearance as the Wizard, Trevor Green’s assured showmanship is to the fore.

Overall, however, (set to music from a variety of uncredited sources) the choreography, using a limited repertoire of steps, fell short of capturing the colour, dynamic and energy we expect.

And as impressively well-drilled as these young dancers are, unpointed feet often spoil otherwise good classical lines.

The Courier Mail, January 16, 1998



Suncorp Theatre, Brisbane
Artistic Director
Louise Hellewell & Christopher Gillard
Louise Hellewell & Christopher Gillard
Guest Artists
Trevor Green
Costume Designer
Marie-Ann Grosskreutz
Scenic Designer
Max Hurley
Lighting Designer
Derek Griffin
Sound Designer
Jason Whiting
Marie-Ann Grosskreutz


  • Rebecca Grennan
  • Lauren Sosnowski
  • Claire Byrne
  • Karlie Burgoyne
  • Connor Dowling
  • Madeleine Rothwell
  • Rebecca Newsham
  • Kristie Keech
  • Katheryn Scott
  • Emma Case
  • Richard Kinley
  • Trevor Green
  • Susan Marquet
  • Judy Hainsworth
  • Courtney Greenway
  • Anna Donovan
  • Susan Duncalfe
  • Erin Oostenbroek
  • Antony Crome
  • Peter Crome
  • Tammy Marquet
  • Claire Peters
  • Janette Upton
  • Katrina Podmore
  • Elizabeth McDonnell
  • Jane Davis
  • Kobie Paulus
  • Erynne Gleeson
  • Jacquline Blaney
  • Tara Doherty
  • Sharna Nolan
  • Nicoel Border
  • Rebecca Downs
  • Elizabeth Kinley
  • Erin Swan
  • Cassie Kinnich
  • Emma Crocket
  • Amelia Hunter
  • Kathleen Crome
  • Tiffany Ingle
  • Courtney McIvor
  • Courtney Poulier
  • Amy Rowe
  • Angela Ryan
  • Kerri Webb
  • Amelia White

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