The Wizard of Oz was the latest offering from this talented and hard working theatre company.

In previous versions of the show, theatre companies haven’t been allowed to perform certain songs that are in the famous 1939 film. However GRTC obtained the rights to the RSC version of the show, which includes all the missing songs and follows the story of the film much more closely.

Emily Taylor, in the lead role of Dorothy, gave a strong and commanding performance in which she hardly left the stage. Her singing, dancing and acting were all excellent and I felt she grew into and connected with the role as the story progressed. Emily has come through the ranks of the theatre company and Dorothy, her first lead role, suited her down to the ground and allowed her to show off all her talents in the different disciplines of musical theatre.

Her three friends – Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion – were played by Shaun Robinson, Tom Kyle and Adam Folkard respectively and each one gave assured and confident performances. The three excelled in portraying the different quirks of their particular character with precision and clarity.

Well-drilled scenes, songs and choreography involving the four leads allowed the story to progress fluently and at a good pace.

Caroline Bright portrayed Glinda, the good Witch, in a modern and quirky way which leaned towards the way the role is played in the Stephen Schwartz musical Wicked, a smash hit on the West End. It was the strongest role I have seen Caroline play. She seemed very comfortable in Glinda’s shoes and added experience and gravitas to this important role.

Emma Golding played perhaps the most evil of roles, The Wicked Witch of the West, with aplomb. She revelled in the character’s wickedness, showing acting maturity beyond her years. Both vocally and physically, Emma pitched the role just right, never becoming self-indulgent and always being believable.

Once again director Royston Bayfield pushed the boundaries of technology in this production with complex imagery being projected throughout the show. I particularly admired the projection on to a small ball, which must have taken an age to set up but was well worth it. Bayfield also has a keen eye for simplicity in his sets, his revolving flats which were turned to reveal each new participant when they joined the journey along the yellow brick road, was the touch of an excellent director who seems to get better with every show.

The direction was complemented by a wonderful sounding and very sympathetic orchestra, led well by musical director Cathy Sweet. The choreography was by Donna Woodman