REVIEW | WICKED, 2018 UK & Ireland Tour.


Photo by Matt Crockett
WICKED, UK & Ireland 2018 Tour
Birmingham Hippodrome
★★

WICKED has become a household name in musical theatre history and a firm favourite with audiences worldwide, it has been seen by over 55 million people after all. With 12 years already in London's west end, as well as numerous tours both nationally and internationally its clear why there's a buzz when it arrives in local theatre's.

WICKED is based on the novel 'Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West' by Gregory Maguire. Maquire used inspiration taken from the stories created by L. Frank Baum in 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz'. Resulting in a new story that takes us to the very foundations and takes place back in the same world we've all imagined for ourselves. We're back in Oz at the university where we see an unlikely friendship form, and follow two witches on their journey to become Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West. The story also packs with it some familiar characters and it's a real bringing together of the past and present in the most magical way, that works. Winnie Holzman has taken that and brought it to the stage in a way like no other.

I've seen WICKED 3 times now but each time I am thrilled that it always feels so different, just as exciting and new to me as the first. I always take something different from the experience too, in my opinion, that's incredible theatre. With so many names filling the boots of the lead roles over the years, I'm always intrigued to see what the next has to offer in their own interpretation.

Amy Ross takes on the role of Elphaba (the role most young girls aspire to, or just me!). She is undoubtedly comfortable in giving us a fresh interpretation of the witch. She doesn't falter as her character builds throughout the story. She kept the audience on the edge of their seats she built momentum ready for her big number, Defying Gravity at the end of the first act. There were thunderous applause and cheers, and just a river of tears from me. Helen Woolf really makes the role of Glinda her own, with a beautiful combination of different characteristics that made it effortless. Her vocals really grasped the audience and wowed them for sure. The casting of Woolf and Ross collectively is just brilliant. The relationship between the two witches is perfect. Watching their friendship build from loathing one another, the changing of heart, and then their unlikely cemented friendship through WICKED is heartwarming. They have a gorgeous harmony with one another like no other I have seen from previous performances. I could barely see through their rendition For Good as I was blinded by tears, it was just stunning.

Photo by Matt Crockett
Photo by Matt Crockett

Taking on role of Fiyero, a torn lover was Aaron Sidwell. If I'm honest, an unlikely casting but actually he has the exact charm to execute the role. His vocals were drowned out by Ross' which was unfortunate but it didn't distract me from the perfect relationships he encountered with Woolf and Ross.

There's no room for pause or to take a quick drink break whilst the cast and ensemble execute the beautiful choreography. There wasn't a toe, twirl or step out of place. The WICKED score is always incredible, with many layers of harmonies that definitely gave it a real fresh vibe that I was totally for. The set design is gorgeous and it feels as though you are in it's home in London's West End.

WICKED is a musical that won't just be the best musical you've seen the 1st,2nd or third time but For Good.

You can catch WICKED at Birmingham Hippodrome until 29 April, it is SOLD OUT. You can, however, find out where WICKED is at a theatre near you by visiting their tour website.


3 comments

  1. I love this post! I've seen wicked twice, the first time I saw it I was lucky enough to see it on broadway which was doubly incredible! I just love everything about the musical, especially the songs. I actually really wanted to see it this year but never got around to booking it.

    Abbie
    overpeachchic.com

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  2. So Matilda will always be my "for good", even "when i grow up"! But i do love Wicked and agree about the tears in the final act. I also saw it on tour - three years ago now - and was especially impressed with Glinda. Our Elpheba was really good, but she did miss a note at the start of Defying Gravity, so i felt a bit sick by the final notes! I remember mum had her eyes in her hand :P

    I think with a musical so much depends on your personal experience, with Matilda we had the most extraordinary child, the perfect casting, and Miss Honey too was everything you'd imagine.

    Which other musicals have you seen? Les Mis and Phantom were two other classics for me and Legally Blonde was also brilliant!

    Bumble and Be

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