Mooky’s Off to See The Wizard - Tower Circus, Blackpool
Dorothy’s certainly not in Kansas any more, as she and Blackpool’s favourite clown head briefly down the Yellow Brick Road in the Land of Oz before the annual cry of “look, there’s a circus over there” diverts the action away from Munchkins and on to a series of talented speciality acts.
Apart from providing a short season of work for a handful of festive regulars, the reasoning behind tagging a panto title to what is, to most intents and purposes, another edition of the Tower Circus, is becoming harder to grasp.
Mooky, under his real name of Laci Endresz Jnr, has written this year’s vehicle, but he, too, must be tempted to drop the “plot” and instead include a couple of extra comedy routines with his brother Mr Boo.
For no sooner has the scene been set and the Wicked Witch of the East been squashed than Dorothy (Kelly Banlaki making her Blackpool debut) dons her blue (yes, blue) shoes, grabs Mooky’s arm, (he’s now the Scarecrow and takes a ringside seat to see the likes of Kasakstan’s Serik Troupe perform strap, ladder and limbo acts, Romania’s Andrei Troupe deliver a gravity defying springboard routine and a skipping act, Ubekestan’s Miss Zarina suspend herself dangerously from silks and Hungary’s Nisselli Sisters present a skilful and genuinely gasp-inducing carousel act from a wobbly ring centre construction.
Even with the unexplained brief appearance of a pantomime cow, this is all about the traditional circus acts.
Langley Dance Centre provide the juveniles and dancers (ie Munchkins and villagers), Shelley Cingalee and Vicky Ivanov play the Wicked and Good witches, Nigel Taylor is the Lion and Richard Cingalee the Tin Man with Mr Boo doubling as the Wizard and Circus Master. Music is provided by Barry Cotton and the Circus Band.