So, popular TOWIE star Mario Falcone is the star of The Wizard of Oz at Worthing’s Pavilion Theatre? Oh, no he isn’t – he barely appears!
Oh yes he is, it turns out, as despite his very brief appearance live on stage, it is clearly him the majority of people have come to see.
That is certainly how it appeared at the VIP night on Monday, December 17, when members of the near capacity audience queued around the theatre for nearly an hour for a chance to meet and greet Falcone and get his autograph.
It was unbelievable to see such strong support, considering the panto’s big TV name had featured in so little of the two-hour production.
Also unbelievable was the fact so many of the crowd had had such a response, as there was the least audience participation I think I’ve ever seen at a panto, with the cast having to draw every ounce of interaction as the night wore on.
Maybe it was the TOWIE moment they were waiting for!
It was a shame because the rest of the cast worked really hard. Tiny Sarah Brown is a little dynamo, packing an incredible punch with her amazing voice and, for me, the true star of the show.
It would have been nice to see Kevin Tillett put his long experience of Gilbert and Sullivan patter roles to good use, as his dame role remained rather subdued, I felt.
There was lots of fun to be had, though, in the company of Gary Starr as Tin Man, Joe Conaboy as Scarecrow and Chris Aukett as Lion.
Paul Hammond has again delivered a colourful production filled with big, bold costumes, magical musical numbers and delightful dance routines.
The Wizard of Oz runs at the Pavilion Theatre until January 6. Visit www.worthingtheatres.co.uk for more information.