Wicked is a show that is suitable for the whole family but is perhaps more geared towards kids, and particularly those with an over-active imagination. This was my second visit to Stephen Schwartz’s hit musical and it felt even more bizarre than the first time and yet I cannot help but revel in the colourful production and wonderfully dramatic score.
It is imperative that you read up on the Wizard of Oz otherwise the narrative will be completely foreign to you. Those in the know will delight at the nuanced and intelligent quirks of this tale. In short, it is the untold story of the witches of Oz.
The show has been running for a while now and the cast perform together fluently and naturally. They make an unbelievable narrative almost believable. Main roles Glinda (Gina Beck) and Elphaba (Louise Dearman) are performed with great vigour and impressive stamina, however I found Ben Freeman to be less convincing as the powerful Fiyero.
For me, it is the music that makes this production so successful. At university I learnt and performed many of the songs, and have fond memories of the catchy melodies, compulsive rhythms and unexpectedly satisfying harmonies. Songs such as “Defying Gravity” have become a phenomenon outside the show and is often featured on karaoke lists, a firm favourite for showcasing divas. But there are other lesser known numbers which are just as good – “Loathing” and “One Short Day” are favourites of mine, the scrunching harmonies are impossible not to sing along to (sorry to the people sitting on my row!).
There is no doubt about it, Wicked is a brilliant night out for all the family, but will appeal most to those who go to the theatre for a dose of escapism, it certainly fires the imagination.
More information on the show here.
Book the best tickets here: http://www.showsinlondon.co.uk/show/wicked, starting from just £18.