Oz in the News 10.13.15

imgID41611895There’s no place like Bradford as crowds celebrate Echoes of Oz festival  FESTIVAL-GOERS had a feeling they weren’t in Bradford any more as Munchkins, flying monkeys and witches took over City Park. The three-day Echoes of Oz festival saw the mirror pool transformed into the Yellow Brick Road as the classic story of Dorothy’s adventures was retold with a distinctively Bradfordian flavour.  A huge O-shaped screen showed showed films and staged performances about Dorothy’s journey while the big screen transmitted tales of Bradford citizens’ hearts, brains and courage. There were colourful performances each lunchtime and multimedia shows each evening, with the bells of City Hall’s clock tower regularly chiming the tune to Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Children squelched along the yellow sponge ‘bricks’ making up the colourful pathway, explored Dorothy’s house and slid down a sparkling Ruby Slipper Slide.

elements-of-oz-fb.jpgThe ‘Elements of Oz’: A new and inevitable way of experiencing theater  Mostly upbeat and comical, the play explored the dark and unspoken history of the 1939 film starring Judy Garland. Horrors include the second- and third-degree burns experienced by Wicked Witch of the West actress Margaret Hamilton, the asbestos snow that woke Dorothy in the field of poppies and of course, the gratuitous drug abuse of young Judy Garland, who used drugs to maintain a horrendous working schedule. Gloomy themes revealed themselves from underneath loads of slapstick humor. Unexpected fun included Dorothy with a moustache played by male actor Sean Donovan, up-close and personal interviews with Salman Rushdie and Ayn Rand and a techno dance interlude.

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