Don’t call it a comeback. Actually, you can because this is our second review of the incredible Zoo Nation’s Groove on Down the Road and if anything, we loved it more the second time around.
This show pops, locks and breaks its way into your heart, bursting with infectious humour, great tunes and astonishing talent displayed by the youth company of dancers ages 10 to 19.
The babes couldn’t wait to journey back down the yellow brick road in Queen Elizabeth Hall at Southbank Centre and watch all our favourite fictional characters – Dorothy, Tin Man, Lion, Scarecrow and Toto, come bounding to life.
We braced ourselves excitedly for the dancing in the aisles, the seemingly endless succession of flips and the whoops of delight that herald the Wizard himself as he commands the stage, rude boy style.
Groove on Down the Road is a modern retelling of the Wizard of Oz, drawing thematic and musical influences from The Wiz (the fabulous Quincy Jones remake starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson).
In effect it’s a story based on a story based on a story (based on another story) and in this way, it’s about all stories. About our need to express ourselves, to connect through creative expression and to transcend our circumstances and our challenges through the powers of love, art and self-belief.
And here’s what the boys had to say about the show:
Ezra (age 8)
‘The show was epic because they used loads of different moves and they made up their own moves, they even used Smooth Criminal moves. My favourite dancer was Tin Man because he does cool robot moves and all the other dancers were pretty good as well, Scarecrow was funny. My funniest part of the story is when there’s the big guy who pretends he’s the Wiz and at the end you find out something very different!’
Jed (age 5)
‘It was cool, the dancers were amazing and it’s our second time watching it. I liked it just the same as the first time. My favourite dancer was Toto because he did lots of breakdancing and the other characters were good as well like Lion and Dorothy. I was a little bit sad when I left the show because I wanted to see MORE!’
Read my original review of Zoo Nation’s Groove on Down the Road
Zoo Nation’s Groove on Down the Road is at Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX (Waterloo/Embankment tube)
Recommended for ages 5+ but younger ones welcome. 2pm, 3pm, 5.30pm & 7pm (varying dates); £22-27/concs. half-price (limited availability) (Aug 5-26)
Photos via Zoo Nation and Southbank Centre