Wicked is in its 9th year at the Apollo Victoria theatre and is quite possibly one of the most popular, must-see shows currently showing at the West End. Whilst some may carry out sequals, this romantic musical comedy is based on the backstory of the Wizard of Oz. Wicked follows the friendship of Galinda (the good witch) and Elphaba (the wicked witch), two women from very different walks of life, who both at times are wicked. They become the witches who Dorothy encounters in the Wizard of Oz, exploring the idea that things are never quite as they seem at first. By exploring the backstory, Wicked demonstrates just how the wicked witch becomes so wicked. It also explores the relationship (or deterioration of) the two witches friendship.
Wicked has a very clever in its ability to get across important messages without them being too in your face. Animal cruelty and peer pressure amongst many other important topics are themes throughout the show but in such a subtle way that you are thinking about them without really realising. Whilst a knowledge of the Wizard of Oz may give you some context to help you follow the story a little and understand some of the jokes, it should be viewed entirely separately. There will be characters you will recognise but equally new ones too.
Savannah Stevenson who plays Galinda is extraordinary. I previously saw Wicked a while ago when the role was played by someone else and it was like watching a different show. She is fabulous throughout and her comic timing is second to none. With the cast as it is as the moment, Wicked is reaching it’s full potential and I can’t recommend seeing this enough. Even if you’ve already seen it, now is the perfect time to go again.
The complexity of the vocal harmonies and dance moves are perfected. This demonstrates exactly why Wicked has been such a hit not only in the West End but Broadway too. The lighting, costumes, and just about everything in between is spot on and honestly faultless. It was probably the cleanest show I’ve ever seen in terms of how it has been put together and executed. As a costume geek, I am a massive fan of Susan Hilferty. She has created the stunning costumes for this beautiful cast.
The only thing I would say that Wicked is lacking is dancing. The dance moves that do hit the stage are great, but for me there just wasn’t enough of it.
Who should go and see it?
The audience when I was there was made up of mostly school age girls and grandmas with their grand children but I honestly think this is one that everyone can enjoy no matter your age or gender.
Where can I see it?
As I said, Wicked is currently playing at the Apollo Victoria theatre with the nearest tube station being Victoria. You can get your tickets HERE.
Photos courtesy of wicked the musical