A few weeks ago I went to see Wicked down in London, with my friends. Now the reason this review has taken so long to show up, is that I struggled to work out how to review such a big show (Or maybe it’s because I’m stuck in an airport which is lacking in shops…) Who am I to judge such an iconic show? Really, who am I to judge any show? Regardless, Wicked felt different, Maybe it’s because I’ve seen it before… Or maybe it’s because I always keep flip flopping on the show- occasionally I love it to bits… Other times I hate it so much, finding it tedious, cliche and mainstream. When I saw it this time, I fell in love with it, and felt quite emotional really, especially towards the end. However, now I am beginning to flip-flop again. I recently started learning the music on the piano, and have been listening to it more often, as it’s one of the few albums on my phone. Anyway, just about everyone knows the story- a twist on the classic story of the Wizard of Oz, following the friendship between Elphaba ( The Wicked Witch of The West) and Glinda (The Good Witch). Elphaba, played by Emma Hatton, and Glinda played by Savannah Stevenson.
However I would first like to mention the chorus, they were fantastic, their singing was at a very high standard, you could feel the depth of the songs and the crescendos were very effective. And the costumes, dear lord the costumes. Some of the more spectacular costumes out there – Think Hunger Games, Capitol: The Musical. And the production aspects are never something to be ignored, The lighting was particularly clever, one effect of note to portray rain, was very realistic.
Moving on to the main cast, Emma Hatton, Savannah Stevenson and Oliver Savile (Fiyero) were brilliant. Emma and Savannah had such amazing chemistry with each other – and this was blatantly shown during a few of their duets; ‘What is this feeling?’ ; ‘Popular’ ; and especially ‘For Good’, which may or may not have had me in tears. This goes the same for Emma and Oliver. His Fiyero was as fabulous, as he was good looking. Emma had an amazing voice, evidently, and her Elphaba was sassy, fabulous and took no shit from anyone. One thing I really admired about the cast – was that even thought I have listened to the album a countless number of times, especially recently, was that I felt like I was watching a new show. I had my reservations about going to see Wicked. I though – Aw Man. Wicked, again? I felt like I would be spending my money just to listen and see what I had seen before, however my friends were adamant, and we couldn’t find cheaper tickets, and they really wanted to see it, so of course I would be glad to see it with them. I was extremely surprised, as to how different it was to the original recording, how it had developed, and how this cast portrayed the characters so differently to the version I saw all those years ago. And the cast were so lovely, when we met them at the stage door, they were so kind and gracious. Mark Curry, who played the Wizard, was absolutely lovely and started singing to us. Liza Sadovy, who played Madam Morrible, was another actress I wanted to mention , you truly hated her character, she was brilliant, and definitely got to wear the most fabulous costumes.
Overall, like I said, I always flip flop on it, sometimes I love it – the music is cheer and catchy, and the last production I saw was brilliant, however a lot of the time I think it is overrated and wonder why people love it so much.
Although, I will end with this. One of the reasons I think Wicked is so beloved by so many is how easy it is to relate to the characters. I do understand that we don’t all live in a magical world of munchkins, Wizards and talking animals. However most of us can relate to being an outside, like Elphaba; or working so hard for something, to do the right thing, just to have it thrown in your face; or having a moment, when you find what you really want, but you can’t have it, you’re not right for it, like ‘I’m not that girl’ from Elphaba or Glinda; or realising that you wouldn’t be who you were if it weren’t for certain people in your life, and that ‘who knows if you’ve been changed for the better, you do believe you have been changed for the better, but you know you’ve been changed for good’. I think most people who see this can relate to at lest one of these notions, I for once relate to all of them, at least a little.