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Kate Prince’s latest venture for ZooNation harnesses the unstoppable energy of a talented batch of kids and teenagers – all under twenty – in her exuberant 75 minute rethink of The Wizard of Oz.

They positively light up the stage from the moment young Dorothy (a determined Arizona Snow at the performance I saw)  is  released from the framework of a dull schoolroom where creativity is stifled and only academic achievement is rewarded with praise.

As she puts on her glittering red trainers and with dog Toto (endearingly dynamic Michael McNeish) follows her dreams down the yellow brick road to Emerald City High, the class dunce becomes Scarecrow (superbly controlled, gravity defying Jaih Betote Dipito Akwa), the tough guy with attitude morphs into Tinman (Michael Ureta) and the grade A student becomes a cowardly Lion (Corey Culverwell) who hides in the dustbin.

Kids and audience of all ages lapped it up – delighted when Dorothy leads her newfound friends round and through the auditorium, dancing all the way to the music of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake and more. With its back flips, spins and exuberant choreography – not to mention Steven Pascua’s Wizard with attitude – this hip-hop musical is enormous fun, and a terrific showcase for the next generation of upcoming dancers all of whom deserve a mention.
A real treat.


Queen Elizabeth Hall
South Bank Centre,  Belvedere Road , SE1 8XX
Until 1st September
Tickets £10-£32
southbankcentre.co.uk


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ZooNation: Groove On Down The Road - theatre review: Southbank Centre, London
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