Now in its thirteenth year in the heart of London’s West End, Wicked has become one of the most famous and arguably one of the most, *cough* “Popular”, musicals around, and it’s certainly not hard to see why.
Based on the events of The Wizard of Oz, Wicked “tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two young women who first meet as sorcery students at Shiz University: the blonde and very popular Glinda and a misunderstood green girl named Elphaba”.
For young theatre fans, Wicked has become a rite of passage. It’s a show about friendship, love and defeating the overwhelming fear of “otherness”. It takes anybody a little different, anybody who has been shunned by society and bullied for their individuality and offers them a home – somewhere they can forget the prejudices waiting outside. Inside those green walls you can surround yourself with love, friendship and of course those killer riffs.
Yes the story may involve magic, and it may involve flying monkeys but it’s one that is simply timeless. You look at the topics covered in the show such as prejudice, media distractions and scapegoating and it’s not exactly difficult to draw parallels with the world surrounding us today. Of course the world has come a long way, but this production works beautifully to remind us of how far we still have to go.
We still have a number of Elphabas and Doctor Dillamonds being vilified within our press every day, and a number of Wonderful Wizards of Oz hiding away within their ivory towers.
Anybody who knows me well will know just how much I adore this show, and after every visit to the Emerald City I find a new respect and a new love. This time I’ve fallen in love with the show for calling out the B.S still hiding within our world.
Now onto my latest trip!
This is my favourite musical of all time and once again I did thoroughly enjoy the production.
It’s funny, it’s empowering and it’s simply beautiful. For me, it has one of the most powerful scores and one of the wittiest scripts around and I could be wrong, but I think the production may have received a new lick of paint in the costume department since my last visit?
We of course still have the iconic and stunning lead costumes, but I’m fairly confident a number of the ensemble outfits have changed, and I couldn’t be more excited!
It’s nice to see a long running show like this making discreet adaptations as it just helps to keep it fresh for returning audiences, while being just as magical for first time visitors.
As I said, I did thoroughly enjoy my latest trip to Oz, and if you’re visiting the production for the first time, I can almost guarantee you’ll be blown away by its brilliance and beauty. That being said for me I couldn’t shake the feeling that perhaps something was missing and I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly it was. The brand new cast were just as fabulous as ever, the costumes were just as glorious as ever and the score was just as spine-tingling as ever. I’m completely aware it was probably just me, but I don’t think I could’ve happily shared this review without being 100% honest.
Despite my slight reservations, Wicked is a timeless classic which continuously speaks to audiences from all generations. It’s a beautiful story of acceptance and friendship wrapped in the most fabulous packaging.
Wicked is currently running at the Apollo Victoria Theatre and has just welcomed their 2019/2020 cast.
For more information or to book tickets head to the official Wicked website.
Review Date: 31/07/2019
Cast at the performance I attended: Nikki Bentley, Helen Woolf, Alistair Brammer, Kim Ismay, Andy Hockley, Natasha Ferguson, Idriss Kargbo, Simone Truby and the brilliant team of ensemble and swing members.
Images courtesy of The Wicked Website and Matt Crockett.