Belfast Telegraph

Wizard reviews for winning Dorothy

Andrew Lloyd Webber's new production of The Wizard Of Oz has been met with broadly positive reviews from theatre critics.

The show, which features Danielle Hope in the role of Dorothy after she won TV talent show Somewhere Over The Rainbow, was unveiled to the media and a star-studded audience including Sir Michael Caine and Barbara Windsor at the London Palladium on Tuesday night.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Quentin Letts said the Manchester teenager was "more than efficient" in the lead role, praising her for her "clear, strong voice and a broad-shouldered confidence".

The Independent's Paul Taylor gave it four out of a five stars, and gave a special mention to the "endlessly endearing" terrier in the role of Toto.

Theatregoers - who also included Phillip Schofield, Rowan Atkinson, Michael Winner and Duncan James - strolled up the rainbow-coloured carpet as they arrived to see the production at the historic Palladium theatre in London.

They were joined by several of the runners-up of the television talent show and Lloyd Webber himself, who looked somewhat like the Wizard of Oz in his green velvet jacket.

Jodie Prenger, who was Lloyd Webber's Nancy in Oliver! after winning BBC show I'd Do Anything and helped in the nationwide search for a dog to star as Toto, said she could relate to any first night nerves Danielle might be feeling.

Speaking before the cast took to the stage, she said: "She'll be petrified right now. But when she walks out on that stage you'll see that they made such the right decision, because she's just going to shine. She was just fabulous. And I can't wait to see the dog."

The show received a standing ovation after wowing the audience with spectacular technical effects, including a revolving stage, a fantasy tornado and monkeys flying through the stalls.

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