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Review by Olivia Murphy.
When I told my little brother we were going to see The Wizard Of Oz, he had to look it up himself as he didn’t believe we were going to see the real life Pudsey (of Britain’s Got Talent’s Ashleigh and Pudsey) on stage! The theatre was buzzing with families of all kinds and ages, ready for a night of light-hearted entertainment.
As soon as Bobby Davro arrived on stage, he threw himself into full panto-mode; chucking around cheeky one-liners, shameless puns, and engaging with the audience at any possible time. I myself encountered a total of 3 interactions throughout the performance; once, being hit by a flying jaffa cake after Davro’s version of the well known ‘After Eight Challenge’, played with a jaffa cake. Another was being surprised when the coat of the woman behind me was randomly thrown over my head as Bobby raced down the aisles. And lastly, being sneaked up on by Davro himself, and getting a fright when I turned to see his beaming face three inches away from mine.
The whole cast, but specifically Bobby, put the audience at ease as they fumbled through lines and early/late stage cues, breaking character at times to make us giggle. Gags were often playful to entertain the younger audience, but with the occasional joke on current affairs to appeal to the parents and grandparents; such as the mention of Trump, followed by an appropriate response from the audience.
Pudsey was definitely a good boy throughout the whole two hours; responding on cue, not getting distracted from sitting at Ashleigh’s side, and performing those adorable tricks perfectly. I especially loved the scene where Toto saves Dorothy from the Wicked Witch of the West by jumping on her minions, because don’t we all love a handsome hero.
Oh, and another thing…Ashleigh can sing! Who knew she had enough talent to teach Pudsey all those routines and be able to hold a note or two? I hope to see Ashleigh and Pudsey on future stage productions, as they were fab.