For Elizabeth Salter
Fitting that we should see an amateur
‘Wizard of Oz’ in the Gladstone Theatre –
opened by William Ewart himself,
whose mission was ‘to pacify Ireland’ –
in Port Sunlight, that model, industrial
village and home of the soap that made
Tommy ‘the CLEANEST fighter in the world’.
Some of the audience have come in costume –
there are Munchkins, a Tin Man, two Lions
and a Dorothy with a toy Toto.
How rapt we all are with the music,
the plot, the invention! This is a
latter-day ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ with good tunes
and witty words – where God aka the Wizard
is a self-effacing huckster, a kindly
fortune teller from Omaha, Nebraska,
three clicks away from the Emerald City.