‘Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again.’ (LA Times TV listings, 1998)
This might not sound like The Wizard of Oz, but it is.
In the aftermath of a natural disaster, a young girl finds herself alone in a foreign land seeking answers from an all-powerful but unseen wizard. This tale of power and discovery on the yellow brick road has become as foundational in the contemporary imagination as Shakespeare or the Greeks.
In 2015, our re-telling of the story of Dorothy and her friends are staging a dream and there is no yellow brick road. Director Adena Jacobs’ stark re-imagining of L. Frank Baum’s narrative masterpiece is an abstract theatrical meditation. The production is not a stage adaption of the novel, rather Jacobs conjures the striking symbols at the heart of The Wizard of Oz: the trauma of exile, rites of passage, and the all-consuming desire to be someone else, and reimagines them into an immersive, surreal, dream-like fantasia.
This production is an image- and music-based theatrical experience, incorporating dense soundscapes and narrative fragmentation to evoke the ideas at the core of this myth. There is loss, longing and darkness, there is pageantry, there is weirdness and wonder… there is Paul Capsis as the Lion!
Leave the kids at home for this stark and sublime re-imagining about innocence, grief and the terror of growing up.
Jacobs has imbued every moment of this production with richness, magic, and the capacity to trigger bucketloads of emotion. It’s a generous work.Ben Neutze | Daily Review
With The Wizard of Oz, Jacobs takes her blazing, bold ideas about being a woman in the world and being a queer person trying to fold into normalcy, and pushes them out into our laps… This is Jacobs’ world, and hers alone. And it’s so much better for it.Cassie Tongue | Time Out
The Wizard of Oz is a compelling and clever dark fairytale…Suzanne Rath | Arts Hub
Jacob’s Oz is unsentimental and intelligent, and each member of the tremendous cast is as fearless as the next to reveal the grotesque in themselves.Jessica Keath | Concrete Playground