If you think you know the Wicked Witch of the West, think
When Dorothy famously triumphed over the Wicked Witch, we only
ever heard one side of the story. Gregory Maguire's acclaimed 1995
novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West,
re-imagined the land of Oz, creating a parallel universe
to the familiar story written by L. Frank Baum and first published as
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900.
WICKED tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely
but profound friendship between two girls who first meet as sorcery
students at Shiz University: the blonde and very popular Glinda
and a misunderstood green girl, Elphaba.
Following an encounter with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, their
friendship reaches a crossroads and their lives take very different
paths. Glinda's unflinching desire for popularity sees her
seduced by power while Elphaba's determination to remain true to
herself, and to those around her, will have unexpected and shocking
consequences for her future. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will
ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and
the Wicked Witch of the West.
The spectacular, multi award-winning stage musical, with music & lyrics
by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman, has become the most
spellbinding and successful new musical in years.
We arrived at The Apollo Theatre in
London's West End to be greeted by an extremely green affair.
Outside is an enormous illuminated green sign that means there is not a
chance of missing the theatre. The Apollo has two entrances but
both sides were easy to find.
by staff and guides where to go made us feel very relaxed. The
foyer had an amass of green lighting which made everyone glow a
beautiful shade of green. It was full of hussle and bussle with
excited people from various different countries. Standing at the
bar I realised I was hearing German, French and American accents just
within a very short distance. Staff selling the programmes and
soundtracks stood amongst the crowds.
We were all rather excited so when
we were allowed entry into the theatre we joined the queues to take our
seats. The red seats and carpet reminded me that this is actually
an old theatre which I later found out had been originally a cinema.
The theatre can hold 2300 people which is extraordinary. You
certainly don't feel that you are amongst this many people. We took our
seats and spent some time looking around. The stage had a large
map screen which was exceedingly interesting to look at and work out
where places were. A huge Dragon hung over the stage which we were
all curious as to what it was going to do during the show.
Everyone settled in their places and the music started. Annoyingly
a group of people needed to get into their seats during the song which
was rather disruptive but once everyone sorted themselves we were able
to let Wicked cast its spell on us.
The cast were delectably brilliant. They all worked so well
together to put on a seamless performance. They all have the most
incredible voices making the audience tingle with emotion throughout.
The story of Wicked relates to pre Wizard of Oz and fills in some gaps
plus shows the tale from a different perspective which was interesting
half time my youngest found it hilarious that the refreshments being
called out were Wine and Olives as prior to the show it was cold beer.
I did point out they had other drinks but those were ones that would
perhaps tempt people.
The costumes and the changes were seamless (my little joke) this of
course a total credit to everyone involved backstage.
We all thoroughly enjoyed Wicked and it appears the people around us
that I asked also found it an exhilarating experience. The young
girl behind me thought Wicked was Wicked!
We left wanting to see it again and again - I think we have the bug.
I have seen that Wicked has been described as a phenomenon - truly
accurate in my opinion. My whole family took great pleasure
in watching Wicked!