What a cracking way to start the Mercury new season with the theatrical stars of the future.

CO2 have an impressive record for providing a firm foundation for future musical theatre performers and this show offers quite a few candidates to keep an eye out for.

First off were the two leads who are switching the role of Dorothy on alternate nights, Sophie Ramsay and Isabelle Robinson. I was fortunate to see them both on a preview night and would advise going twice just to see what different dynamics the two add to the iconic role. With gorgeous, crystal clear vocals, it was their acting skills which really delighted.

As did the very talented trio of Corey Moore, Josh Tarrier and Alex Terry who perfectly fit the boots of the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion respectively. One of my favourite parts of this show was their introduction to proceedings with colour, wit and verve. In particular the Tin Man scene with the singing trees, which was wonderful, and the Scarecrow and his street-wise crows.

In fact the whole design of the show was great with the way we moved from Kansas to the Land of Oz and how the witches were introduced in simple ways (Glinda, the super Lorna Perrin, comes on to bubbles) and more complicated (Sophia Twohey’s deliciously Wicked Witch arrives and departs via trap doors and platforms).

Well done to director Adam Woodhouse for another cracking production which fairly rattled along with its sumptuous sets, magical ensemble numbers, and plenty of memorable tunes to tap toes to.

Plus the cutest dog ever, Meela, who very nearly stole the show, as well as one of Professor Marvel’s sausages.

And if all of that gets you in the mood to take part yourself, and why wouldn’t it, the society are looking for girls to perform in their COS production of Annie next year, also directed by Adam. For more information go to colchesteroperaticsociety.co.uk and look for Annie auditions.