The Wizard of OzSheffield Crucible Theatre

Director Rob Hastie, Choreography Ewan Jones, Lighting Richard Howell, Puppet direction Rachel Canning

*winner Broadway world best set design 2018*

Designer Janet Bird’s solution is genius (and satisfyingly echoes the style and colour palette of the iconic 1939 film, while rendering them its own). I long to describe it... I’m holding back, so as not to spoil the “Wow! I did not see that coming” surprise of it all. Suffice to say that almost every effect is achieved in full view (often with the help of the frequently on-stage chorus); we see how it’s done, and still we marvel. Here is very little jiggery-pokery trickery but a great deal of honest skill.

***** The Observer

The Wizard of Oz review; Heartwarming romp brims with brains and courage

Robert Hastie’s production is a restrained delight. The festive period is when designers get to play, and Janet Bird’s idiosyncratic design is a corker……..

**** The Guardian

…. a lustrous spectacle, with Janet Bird’s striking design providing a coup de theatre

**** Telegraph

Janet Bird’s circular design, with its tumbledown clapboard house and washing lines, neatly suggests Dorothy’s dusty Kansas home. When the cyclone strikes, denim-clad farmhands spin the terrified girl’s bed around and launch the Wicked Witch of the West into the air on her broomstick.The set flips open like a book’s pages, revealing a neon-glowing Oz. The narcotic enchanted poppy field that lures Dorothy — in natty lace-up ruby slippers — and her new friends down an illuminated Yellow Brick Road teems with lullaby-crooning, scarlet-haired flower-dancers in green pyjamas. The flying monkeys swoop about on rollerskates. Even Toto is transformed: from a real, shaggy, black mutt to a daffodil-yellow puppet dog.

**** The Times

Photos: Johan Perrson