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Thursday, February 24, 2011


I'm sure you know I don't like critics, well some critics, well one critic (you know who you are) however for the first time I'm putting the shoe (red shoe to be precise) on the other foot. I also know that one shouldn't review a preview but as it opens in a few days I suspect it wont change much by opening night. So.....THE WIZARD OF OZ at the London Palladium.

Over all it was a great night out. Sets wonderful, sound, orchestra, lighting, costumes, wonderful. Can you feel a 'but' coming along. Well yes there is a but, only a couple of small ones though. Danielle Hope as Dorothy was perfect. She wasn't my favourite on the TV show but I have to say her singing and acting fill the stage, and its a very big stage to fill. Michael Crawford makes the best of a boring part and and the ensemble are excellent. Unfortunately Glinda the good witch is upstaged by her frock. Hannah Waddingham plays the Wicked Witch of the West and her part really takes off in the second half. One of the highlights of the show is the song penned specially for this production by Lord Webber and Sir Tim Rice. The Witch really sells and comes alive in this number and really nothing can top this. Now the tin man(Edward Baker Duly, the scarecrow (Paul Keating) and the lion (David Ganly) are good. There lies the weak link in the show. I can cope the the Scarecrow and the Tim Man being of ensemble standard but the Lion, a wonderful part, should steal the show..... and it doesn't. You like him, but you don't feel for him, you don't laugh at him. I'd love to play the part. Russ Abbott, Gary Wilmot, Brian Connely. It needs some one to grab it by the balls and come over the footlights. One more criticism, the ending isn't big enough. When Dorothy finds her red shoes again at the end I would have loved to hear a massive version of Over the Rainbow. I could feel the audience beg for those big belting notes from Dorothy, and it didn't happen. Then the biggest mistake of any 'Whose best moment' the music can be clapped along to. If the music is of marching tempo the audience clap in time and don't give the cast their due applause. Lord Webber you should know this. A small number of the audience stood up but if the show had grafted better the whole room would have been up.
In conclusion I thoroughly enjoyed the show and if and was asked one piece of advice for the show I would say, move every performance(except Dorothy) up a gear. Go from 8 to 10 and the first half especially will take off. I think it will be a big hit but now a massive hit.....but then again, what do I know.
PS the dog upstages everyone all the time, I'd have a word.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Well back from LA and I had a great time as usual. I've never had a bad holiday there. I didn't really do much but that is why I like it so much. I get my convertible and just drive around. Simples....Ross and Brianna are great hosts and fortunately Ross although busy with Daybreak managed to get quite a lot of time off. The sun shone from the minute I arrived till I left.....then it poured down. Timing! I had some sad memories of the same break last year when I had to fly home after 3 days when my wonderful father in law, Gerald, died. Cant believe its a year ago. Jane and her family have that terrible first anniversary coming up. Stella my mother in law has been incredibly strong and had a lunch for 30 people a couple of weeks ago.
David started a new UK tour with Example and has started using my vintage Gibson 330 on stage as he has had it all set up perfectly. So the 45 year old guitar is back on the road again. He is playing the Barrowlands on this tour which is another great piece of history as that is where I started out when I was 10.
Everyone else is fine, and I fly to Barbados in a week to the Oceana. Caribbean, Mexico and the Caymen islands are all on the itinerary. Perfect for this time of the year. Not a bad life I must say.


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