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You must see: The Wizard of Oz, Sterts Theatre

I took heed of my own advice on Saturday night and went to see The Wizard of Oz: one of four in-house productions currently enjoying a summer run at Sterts Theatre on the edge of Bodmin Moor. Let me tell you – this show warrants an early flagwave, not least because they’ll sell out fast.

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Credit: Julia Chalmers

I’m a big fan of Sterts. Its a natural open air amphitheatre hidden under a giant canopy in the grounds of an old pig farm in the village of Upton Cross. Open most of the year, you can expect a mix of local and touring performances. I’d remembered to bring a blanky to snuggle up in as it can get a bit nippy once the sun is down, and despite being quite padded naturally, a cushion for my not-so-waif-like Muddy buttocks. I really like the lack of allocated seats – you rock up with your tickets and picnic and sit where you like, so if seat choice is important to you, arrive in good time to get the best ones.

sterts outside

Credit: J & J Carter – www.jjcarter.com

My nearly thirteen-year-old is a bit of an old cynic and not so crazy about musicals (I’m not forgiven for that ‘suprise!’ Frozen on Ice trip) so he might seem an unusal choice companion and critic, but he had school friends in the show (high fives to Katie, Georgie and Fallon), and turns out I didn’t have to twist his arm that much.

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Credit: Julia Chalmers

Sally Nash was Dorothy the night we went, sharing the lead role with Alice Blackler. Sally was brilliant (apparently both girls are). Her performance was strong and her rendition of Over the Rainbow gave me goosepimples – she didn’t miss a note. Big hats off to Mark Sidey as the Tinman, Tris Keats as the Scarecrow and and Teresa Blackler as the Wicked Witch of the West – every bit as frightening as Margaret Hamilton in the 1939 film. A special mention though must go to Joe Carter. He made a riotous dandy lion and his comic timing was perfection. A few modern references casually thrown in, he couldnt resist channeling a bit of Mufasa and funked up his lines with The Lion King quotes. Joe’s Cowardly Lion was my companions ‘best bit’.

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Credit: Julia Chalmers

The rest of the cast was incredible too. If you love a choreographed routine there was bucket-loads here – all polished to perfection, including a stunning Jitterbug dance which the younger performers relished with gusto. The cute factor came courtesty of the little ones (soo sweet) and the real life pooch playing Toto in the Kansas parts of show – do not shout his name out in the middle of the performance!

It was raining saturday which was a real shame as I was looking forward to a cheeky glass of fizz on the lawn during the interval. So it was coffee and hot chocolate instead snuggled under our rug.

There were lots of kids in the audience – it’s obviously a family show and the early 7:30pm start time reflected that, though personally after two late nights in a row (one being the very boozy Muddy Editors lunch in Little Venice the day before tut tut!) I was entirely grateful to be home an tucked up at a reasonable time.

I’ll list the shows in the weekly Muddy Guides just to remind you, but while you have a chance to choose your days, take it – this is going to be a sell-out. Just don’t forget your cushion.

7:30pm, various dates £10 adult, £6 child. Add a two course meal for £15. Sterts Theatre & Arts Centre, Launceston Road, Upton Cross, PL14 5AZ

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