The show, starring the ever-popular children’s entertainer Krazy Kev, as the Scarecrow, gave the children a fun-filled theatre experience. Also appearing were Amanda Holden’s favourite Golden Buzzer act, Sammy and Honey from Britain’s Got Talent, as the good and bad witches, pantomime regular Lucy Rose Rollason as an excellent Dorothy, Jaden Evelyn as a wonderful and funny Tin Man and Theo Bazeley-Smith was the adorable cowardly lion.

Theo Bazeley-Smith as the cowardly lion, Krazy Kev as the scarecrow, Lucy Rose Rollason as Dorothy, and Jaden Evelyn as the tin man

What a fantastic show it was. The children, aged from seven to nine, were enchanted by the story and joined in with boos and hisses when the wicked witch came on stage and cheers of delight each time Glinda the Good appeared. Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and Lion were hugely entertaining. Sam Wolstenholme, making his pantomime debut, was excellent as The Wizard. There were classic sketches, great songs, a touch of magic and some skillful acrobatics. And, of course, there was Toto the dog, played by Bumble, a delightful and well-behaved Puggle.

The Wizard of Oz runs until Saturday 24th December at the Barrington Theatre. After each performance there will be a bucket collection for Variety The Children’s Charity.

The cast with Variety the Children’s Charity respesentatives Lorraine Segal, Judy Hiscoke and Jenny Davies

Frances Cornelius, chair of Variety Wessex, said:

Thank you everyone who contributed to this fantastic theatre visit. The children had an amazing experience. So many people’s Christmas traditions include a pantomime or Christmas show but this is far too costly for many families now. Thank you Shan and the Bournemouth Boys Club for funding for children who would otherwise miss out on an experience like this. Thank you too Laguna Coaches for always taking our children safely to events and back to school, Judy, Lorraine and Jenny for being there to represent Variety and make sure everything runs smoothly. But the biggest thank you must be for the cast and production team who have put together such an amazing show. It is absolutely fantastic.

The cast of The Wizard of Oz

Elisabeth Rawson Jones pastoral lead at Bethany said:

What a fantastic experience for our children. All the cast were amazing. It is a classic story but new to many of our pupils who really enjoyed their theatre visit. What fun to see Krazy Kev as the scarecrow! He is such a favourite with us all. Thank you Frances and Variety for funding this wonderful opportunity – we are so grateful that through 2022 you have organised so many wonderful days for our children. It really does make a huge difference, giving them memories to treasure. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. A Merry Christmas to you and everybody at Variety Wessex.

Krazy Kev with children on stage