Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - CULTURE - KATYHAYES


Her friend Glinda (a ter­rif­i­cally pet­tish He­len Woolf) is a prag­ma­tist, who has some moral aware­ness but likes to be pop­u­lar and on the side of power and there­fore sprops up the sta­tus quo. She has lots of pairs of shoes, nice dresses and a tiara. But she is not a bad per­son. She is like Me­la­nia.

The Wizard of Oz has a lot of Trump char­ac­ter­is­tics, but since this was cre­ated in 2003, he has less of a dark side. He is all blus­ter and brand­ing and strat­egy. “The best way to bring peo­ple to­gether is to give them a re­ally good en­emy,” he says. His press sec­re­tary Madam Mor­ri­ble (a golden-voiced Kim Is­may) speaks in a con­vo­luted, tor­tured English, and fre­quently makes no sense.

Well, it all has a happy end­ing. The Wizard gets ban­ished (takes early re­tire­ment) and leaves in his hot-air bal­loon. He is let off pretty lightly for some­one who sub­ju­gated a peo­ple.

El­phaba goes off with a hippy scare­crow lover to live in a re­mote cas­tle. Glinda, the prag­ma­tist, takes over run­ning Oz — things change for the bet­ter, but only slightly.

The Amer­i­can mu­si­cal’s moral ex­plic­it­ness may feel ob­vi­ous and sim­plis­tic but only a fool searches for sub­tlety in this quar­ter. They are also fre­quently in­struc­tive: the les­son here be­ing you have to stand up against pre­vail­ing winds in or­der for true jus­tice to pre­vail. And don’t let green skin stop you. I hope the Taoiseach en­joyed it.


Cas­tle Yard, Kilkenny Au­gust 9 –18

Rough Magic Theatre Com­pany tackle Shake­speare’s most in­ven­tive com­edy as part of the Kilkenny Arts Fes­ti­val. An Ir­ish an­gle flavours this Lynne Park­erdi­rected fes­ti­val high­light. THE SHAUGHRAUN Smock Al­ley Theatre un­til Sept 1

Dion Bouci­cault’s crowd­pleas­ing romp from 1874 fea­tures Fe­ni­ans and fugi­tives and in­tro­duces the quin­tes­sen­tial Ir­ish chancer and rogue, Conn the Shaughraun. Di­rected by Clare Maguire.

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