Theatre, Musicals & Concerts – Views & Reviews
This was my first return to Wicked in five years. Back then the show had only been open in the West End for 9 months, and despite the strong cast I couldn’t quite put my finger on why I wasn’t blown away by it. It looked incredible and sounded wonderful, but I left feeling impressed but not entranced.
Since then I’ve purchased the Original Broadway Cast recording and really fallen for the music. I suspect my original impassive impression was due to either not being familiar with the music, or not listening closely enough to the lyrics – each time I listened to the soundtrack I became more interested in the show.
For that reason, and the several thousand youtube viewings of Defying Gravity, I decided it was time I took another trip to the Emerald City. Something had changed within me…
From the moment I entered the auditorium and saw the Time Dragon Clock towering above the map of Oz, the excitement built and I knew this was going to be special. I’d forgotten quite how detailed the sets are, and how some of the characters transitioned into their more well-known appearances from The Wizard of Oz.
Rachel Tucker was excellent and moving as Elphaba, and Gina Beck was clearly having great fun playing Glinda’s not-so-good qualities, although Julie Legrand’s Madame Morrible was deliciously Wicked through and through. Matt Willis was a better Fiyero than I’d expected, his pop credentials giving him a bit of extra swagger in the early scenes.
What struck me most was how good the songs sound with an English accent! As incredible as the Broadway cast recording is, I’ve often wondered why there isn’t a London cast recording and after tonight I’m desperate for one. Maybe the Wizard can help…
Glinda – Gina Beck
Witch’s Father – Kieran Brown
Witch’s Mother – Lindsay Taylor
Midwife – Tania Mathurin
Elphaba – Rachel Tucker
Nessarose – Lillie Flynn
Boq – Adam Pettigrew
Madame Morrible – Julie Legrand
Doctor Dillamond – Christopher Howell
Fiyero – Matt Willis
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – Keith Bartlett
Chistery – Paulo Teixeira
Monkeys, Students, Palace Guards, Denizens of the Emerald City and Other Citizens of Oz: Ashley Andrews, Gemma Atkins, Alex Louize Bird, Kieran Brown, Andrew Bryant, Sophie Carmen-Jones, Nikki Davis-Jones, Enobong Essien, Harry Francis, Chlöe Hart, Robert Jones, Tania Mathurin, Michelle Pentecost, David Rudin, Charlotte Scott, Chloe Taylor, Lindsay Taylor, Sam Taylor, Paulo Teixeira, Oliver Watton
Swings: Oliver Brenin, Nicholas Collier, Jacqueline Hughes, Sophie Linder-Lee, Sean Parkins, Soeli Parry, Hannah Toy, Matt Turner
Music & Lyrics – Stephen Schwartz
Book – Winnie Holzman
Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire
Associate Choreographer – Mark Myars
Director – Joe Mantello