Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Wicked the Musical: Theatre Review

Wicked the musical opened on Broadway in 2003 with productions in Los Angeles, Japan, Chicago, Germany and Australia.
The London production opened in 2006 with Original Broadway cast member, Idina Menzel. The story follows Glinda the Good and The Wicked Witch of the West (Elphaba) before Dorothy arrived in Oz. The musical comes from Gregory Maguire, the story explains why everything is the way it is in the land of Oz. It explains why Glinda is good, why the Witch is wicked, why the scarecrow has no brain, why the Lion is cowardly, why the tin man has no heart and everything thinkable in The Wizard of Oz is included in Wicked.
I recently made a trip back to the Apollo Victoria Theatre to see the show again, the show has everything that a musical should have, and it's universal. The balance between the humour and the emotional sides of the show are brilliant, it's a show that includes every emotion. It also has appeal to everyone, for children this show would be a fantastic spectacle and for adults it's an interesting insight to their favourite childhood story. I recently saw the show on September 24thand it was one of the best performances I've seen from the Wicked Company. This is because we have a few understudies on, two of which it was only their third show on.

Mark Evans was fantastic as Fiyero, his voice is incredible and I can see his career going a long way, his arrogant but lovable portrayal of the role was fantastic and the best I've seen. Ben Scott was a really cute lovable Boq, I felt so sorry for him I just wanted to take him home with me! Julie Legrand and Clive Carter make a great Madame Morrible and Wizard, to be honest I didn't like Julie Legrand and Clive Carter's performances when I first saw them at the start of their contract but they seem to have really settled into their roles.
At this performance we had Gareth Chart in the role of Doctor Dillamond and Charlotte Scott in the role of Nessarose; both were good but didn't really stand out. Nikki Davis-Jones was in the role of Elphaba at the show, I have seen her before and I can defiantly see that she has grown into the role and really understands her more now, Her vocals were also stunning! Zoe Rainey played Glinda at the performance, she usually plays Nessarose and is the understudy to Glinda, this was only her third show (As it was for Charlotte Scott) but she was fantastic! Her characterisation in the role was worthy of someone who would have been in the show for a year, her vocals and comic timing were also brilliant. She is so underused as Nessarose!
But the ensemble in this show were one of the best I've ever seen, whenever they were on stage I found myself not being able to take my eyes of them. All created individual characters but still worked amazingly together.
The costumes in this show are stunning, as is the set design; Susan Hilferty and Eugene Lee are a dream team. Stephen Schwartz's music and lyrics are stunning; all of his work seems to be made with gold.
This show is a West End gem, if you haven't seen this show; do you live under a rock?
Rating: ****

Wicked plays at the Apollo Victoria Theatre

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