Wicked the Musical – Guest Review

Thanks to Superbreak a good friend of mine went to see Wicked the Musical and has kindly reviewed it for my blog. I would love to see it so I was keen to hear more and share it with you all.

As an avid musical goer I was intrigued as to what Wicked would be like… it had been one I had heard mixed reviews about from blogs and friends so was not sure quite what to expect. My view beforehand was that the premise should provide great opportunity for interesting characters and costumes, but at the same time I was afraid that as a prequel it could be somewhat contrived, which in my opinion prequels often are.

On a Wednesday evening it was good to see an almost full house, especially as it has now been running in the West End for five years, a good sign to start the evening.

The staging and costumes were impressive and painted an excellent image of Oz… just as I remember imagining it as a child reading The Wizard of Oz. The contrast between Elphaba (Wicked Witch) and Glinda (Good Witch) was very cleverly achieved through stereotypes within a school setting, and reminds us all of the sadness of a misunderstood teenager who is different to everyone else! Despite being laced with underlying morals, the first half is generally quite light hearted and mainly paints a good background of the history between Elphaba, Glinda and the love interest Fiyero. As we near the end of Act One the plot darkens and I liked the gradual development of Elphaba’s look into the classic witch style of black hat, cloak and broom. I was less keen on the portrayal of the Wizard as being a clueless power hungry man, but I suppose we always wondered…! The second half is much more dramatic and you can start to see the storyline heading towards the witches impending doom, as well as starting to make amusing references to the annoying little Dorothy. The sudden creation of the tin man, scarecrow and lion were, for me, a little bit contrived… and to be honest I still don’t really understand why the scarecrow ends up up as he does, that seemed to be a bit rushed and the explanation glossed over!

Away from the storyline, the cast were fantastic in their singing, especially Elphaba. As the frustrated and misunderstood Wicked Witch who is just trying to do good, her voice needed to be powerfully moving and she did not fail to achieve that. As for the music, it does the job. It tells the story and there are some amusing lyrics, but in my mind none of the songs are going to be classics, they are quite cheesey and nasal. (I have to admit to being a bit of a Lloyd Webber fan though, and I think it is fair to say Wicked is no Les Mis!)

All in all it is an enjoyable show, the storyline is quite clever and I came away with different views of the characters than I had from my days of reading The Wizard of Oz as a child. Although a bit obvious the story lays out some good morals… mainly not to judge a book by its cover, and that there are two sides to every story! It also quite confusingly though left me wondering whether at some point in the past animals could talk…!

For more show ideas and information please see the London Theatre Guide

One Response

  1. This was a smash hit since its debut in 2003. As a musical show, the blockbuster music by Stephen Schwartz surely amazes you.

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