'Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz' Review

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Broadway shows are brilliant, aren't they? So much energy, buzz and excitement alongside incredible acting and songs that stay in your head for weeks. Granted, they're not everyone's cup of tea but to me, they are something rather special.

As you may have seen from my Birthday Week in Pictures and Birthday Bonus posts, I recently ventured down to London to see the hit musical 'Wicked' and as soon as the curtain closed after the grand finale, I knew instantly that I wanted to write a review about it. 

After hearing an awful lot of great things about this show in particular, my mom, aunt and I felt we simply had to see it before it left London (not that that'll be happening any time soon, I'm sure!). For those that don't know, 'Wicked' is the prequel to 'The Wizard of Oz' and tells the story of how the Wicked Witch of the West became…well, wicked. I have to admit, I'm not the biggest fan of 'The Wizard of Oz' but I'd heard that the stage show in itself was worth watching and seeing as I have always admired theatre shows for the stage production, when the idea came to me to do a birthday trip, the tickets were the first thing to get sorted. 

When ordering the tickets off of Ticketmaster, we tried to keep the price down and went for the cheaper seats; not that this caused any problems when watching the show. On entering the Apollo Victoria Theatre, we noticed the lights were green and broomsticks hung from the ceilings which were a nice added touch that built the atmosphere.  We arrived half an hour early to make sure we got drinks sorted for interval and to get to our seats in time; these were somewhere in the middle on the second level and despite having people in front, my vision wasn't compromised - hurrah! The theatre is architecturally beautiful, however, being a hot day it was absolutely roasting inside; air-con would definitely have been beneficial. Luckily, the bar had plenty of ice meaning our waters were nice and cooling!

The chit-chattering was hushed to a silence as the show started and what can I say about the play? Well, it was fantastic. Each character was well thought out, the songs awfully catchy (especially 'Defying Gravity') and the aesthetics were awesome. 

We were stunned at the exceptional talent on stage, especially from the two female leads of Elphaba (played by Emma Hatton) and Glinda (play by Savannah Stevenson). The pair oozed with passion and had incredible stage presence; they completely stole the show! Glinda was the character I enjoyed most as she was funny, likeable and made the whole dark story a little lighter. Don't get me wrong when I say "dark story", 'Wicked' is in fact also really witty, slightly cheeky and even has a slice of romance - it truly has something for everyone!

Not having read the book beforehand, everything was a complete surprise, thus meaning all the twists and turns were so shocking. It's pure genius how it ties in with the better-known story of 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' and all three of us were in awe at how it unfolded before us. I also liked seeing the story from the other side, so to speak, and - spoiler alert - it was interesting to see that the witch was actually not a bad person.

Now to the negative-ninny part and I only had one small criticism. When entering the theatre and waiting for the show to start, we could see the stage in it's wonderful glory and hanging above it, there was a massive dragon. This looked incredibly exciting and I couldn't wait to see it in action. Unfortunately, this was referenced very briefly once and only moved a handful of times which was disappointing as it looked so grand and fascinating; we all felt it could have been used much more. 

So that's it, 'Wicked' watched and loved. I'd implore anyone to go see it, it really is a magical experience and utterly exceeds all expectations. I've put the trailer below for you to watch and to find out more about the show or how to buy tickets, click here.

Have you seen 'Wicked' and if so, what did you think? Are there any West End shows you'd recommend? Let me know below!


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Amy Tinson