I love The Wizard of Oz - and not just in that ironic, twee way that characterises nostalgia about kitsch - I love it because it's a great film full of sensational, immortal performances and it repays repeated viewings with something new every time. From the scene where Dorothy opens the door and steps from her monochrome world into her amazing technicolour dream, coated with a brightness that must pop the eyeballs in HD ("Toto. I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more") through to a fantastic (and fantastically addictive) slot machine that's been as kind to me as Glinda was to Dorothy, I've loved it all. And stories as rooted in culture as The Wizard can pop up in the most unexpected places - and it sure does, round the back of Waterloo East station in the distinctly un-emerald city of London.
Writer James Michael Shoberg loves The Wizard of Oz too, as there's plenty of affection in his twisted take on the tale. Dottie (Kristy Bruce) is a teen with issues, Skarekrow (James Clifford) is a Pete Doherty figure, Rusty (Paul Christian Rogers) you wouldn't like when he's angry and Mr Lyons (Rob Tofield) is all spent after too much surfing of the more outre sites on the web. They're all looking for something and, as they follow the yellow squares to the hospital's administrative wing to Dr Ozlin's office, they, unconsciously, find just what they need.
Is the conceit sustained? Just - helped by the occasional line from the original that raises a wry smile in its new, dysfunctional setting. If Bruce does well with what is something of an underwritten part (stopping just short of a "whatever" as an answer to every question), Clifford captures The Scarecrow's sweet vulnerability perfectly and Tofield elicits sympathy for his less than attractive character.
Immersion Theatre's production won't please everyone - humour based in mental health issues may offend some - but there's enough love for the old favourites to soothe sensitivities. And the music played as we take our seats is worth the admission price alone.
Dorothy in Oz continues at the Waterloo East Theatre until 17 March.