Monday, 28 July 2008

Lions and terriers and bears

It was quite the cultured weekend. On Friday I went to see The Wizard Of Oz at the Royal Festival Hall. There is lots to recommend it – some adorable animation used to convey effects and scenery which were beyond the physical limitations of the venue; some nice dancing; Roy Hudd. On the other hand, there were sluggish lighting cues, microphones turned on seconds too late, and Dorothy didn't really nail The Big Number. But any kind of review is basically rendered irrelevent by two things:

1) Toto was played by an ACTUAL REAL-LIFE DOG. Pity the actors, emoting and pratfalling and turning their musical theatre tricks, only to be comprehensively upstaged by a small waggy West Highland terrier who does his own stunts – which included, and would mostly seem to be limited to, running across the stage, and then running back again – guided by a homing device made from doggy chocs.

2) It is impossible to not have fun at any production of The Wizard Of Oz. It is like Joseph and it is like Guys And Dolls. They could be massacred by the world's least gifted amateur dramatics troupe, yet you would still leave saying 'Wow, those guys were great!' all because they were so indecently well served by their material.

A few years ago I had a go on one of those children's miniature trampolines, and I thought to myself 'This is amazing! They should give these to people with depression. You can't be unhappy bouncing up and down like this.' Unless, of course, you are operating beneath a particularly low ceiling.

[In a rare outburst of earnestness I should say that, in light of these last two posts, it may seem as if I have a somewhat cavalier approach to mental health. I would like to assure you that this is not at all the case. No punchline.]

To borrow from A A Milne, I think nobody can be uncheered by a trampoline. And maybe it's just me, but I also believe nobody can be uncheered by Follow The Yellow Brick Road. It just makes you want to beam, and clap your hands together like the precocious inhabitants of a sea-life centre.


The Flying Shrimp said...

Your ramblings are a joy to behold. Long may they continue. Carry on.

Jane said...

This is exactly the justification I needed to go and see Singalonga Wizard of Oz at the Hyde Park Picture House yesterday... unfortunately family duty prevailed and I went to see my Brother in Law's band in a competition to play at Leeds Reading. Luckily they are rather good (although not winners) so I'm not too bitter about missing my chance to warble with Judy and co.