Last Sunday we were back at the Southbank Centre for Groove On Down The Road – hip hop dance production by Kate Prince, renowned choreographer and ZooNation’s Founder and Artistic Director.
The story is based on the classic tale of the Wizard of Oz. The shows opens with a classroom in a run-down school. The funding of all creative subjects has been cut so bored and unmotivated pupils are running riot… There is one girl, who is a bit of a dreamer. Suddenly she is Dorothy, and we are transformed into the Land of Oz.
One by one, we get to meet Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion and accompany them on their journey to Emerald City High as they dance their socks off along the Yellow Brick Road made up of blank notebook scraps that winds through the aisles in the audience.
The interaction with the audience is one of the best bits of this show, very clever too as it creates a smooth transition between scenes.
Choreography is genius – modern, dazzling and super sleek. The energy and enthusiasm of the cast is off the charts. It’s hard to believe they are all under 19, with the youngest just 10 years old!
It’s impossible to pick a favourite this time. Dorothy [Portia Oti, 12] is such a sweetheart. Lion [Tom Stratford, 13] gives such a heartfelt, convincing performance. The Wizard of Oz and the Wiz Kid [brothers Steven and William Pascua, 19 and 12] are fierce and hilarious.
The soundtrack is brilliant, featuring Steve Wonder, Michael and Janet Jackson and also music from the 1978 film The Wiz, re-mixed with current hits by DJ Walde. Amazing stuff!
The pupils eventually come back to their classroom with a few lessons learnt about friendship, compassion, courage and, most of all, about the importance of dreaming.
If I held in my hands all the beauty of the world,
With all its wonder and light,
With every colour of the rainbow
Gleaming within my sight,
And the dim, and blue and shiny stars
That flicker throughout the night,
I would spread these wonders under your feet,
And turn my chin to the sky
With a heart and mind full of dreams
I would trust you to show me the way
For I, being a child, have only my dreams
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
DorothyInspired by the original poem by W B Yeats
What a polished, uplifting and inspiring performance! 5 stars from Mumsnet Ealing. We are giving away a family ticket to this show. Enter our competition here.
The show is running until Tuesday, 26th August
Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre, London
1hr 15 minutes (no interval)
Recommended age 5+