I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t go to the theatre often (mainly due to a lack of funds) but I decided to splurge once I heard that the musical, Wicked was going on a national tour and would be opening in my hometown, Manchester. Having been longing to see the musical for some years now, I quickly made the decision to snap up tickets for the opening night. With seats four rows from the stage, a great view and a two hour show to enjoy , there’s not much I could have complained about.
For those of you who don’t know, Wicked is the “Prequel” to the 1939 The Wizard of Oz movie, following the untold story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West and how she came to be known as the Wicked Witch of the West whilst her best friend, Galinda becomes Glinda the good.
Former understudy, Nikki Davies Jones took the role of Elphaba and the beautiful Emily Tierney as Elphaba and Galinda respectively were both a joy to watch and their chemistry seemed genuine. Relative new comer, Liam Doyle appeared in the role of Fiyero, the love interest for both leading ladies.
Everything about the show was amazing, from production, costumes, singing, acting and dancing.
The costumes were like something out of the Capitol in the Hunger Games, couture, yet still extravagant and beautiful.
The acting wasn’t exactly the best and was very much typical theatre acting, but the developing friendship between Elphaba and Glinda was genuinely touching and during the finale, I found myself strangely emotional as the two characters reflect on how much better they are now they met each other. For me, the highlight was of course, “Defying Gravity”, the show’s most famous song which ended the first act with a bang. I found myself rooting more for Galinda at times as Elphaba’s character just appeared to be a little too self-righteous.
The songs are incredibly catchy and feel-good with beautifully written lyrics. I haven’t stopped listening to the soundtrack since. My favourite musical numbers had to be “No Good Deed”, “I’m Not That Girl” and “Popular”. The musical does a fantastic job at weaving humour into the question of what makes an individual wicked through the contrasting characters of Galinda and Elphaba.
I’m absolutely thrilled that this production has gone on tour as it gives those who do not have the time or money to travel to London to witness a production that is truly magical.
Now, please excuse whilst I go listen to the soundtrack for the hundredth time.