Ever wonder what the real Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, was like?
Back before Dorothy's
house turned her sister into Yellow Brick Road-kill, and Dorothy gave her a
shower, Elphaba was a student just trying to do what was right.
This is the story of her college years,
meeting Glinda, the fact it is no fun being
green...and in love - magical or not.
The show welcomed its 8 millionth theatregoer to London’s Apollo Victoria
Theatre on Thursday 9th February 2017.
On 1st August 2017, the show played its 4567th performance at the Apollo
Victoria Theatre, surpassing the triumphant run of Billy Elliot The Musical to
become the 16th longest running show in London theatre history.
Louise and David McCarter attended the performance and enjoyed a back stage
visit with the cast after the performance.
Photo credit: Troy Johnston.
The multi record-breaking UK & Ireland Tour will return in February 2018,
revisiting the following ten cities:
BRISTOL Hippodrome, Tuesday 5 February - Saturday 3 March 2018
LIVERPOOL Empire, Wednesday 7 – Saturday 31 March 2018
BIRMINGHAM Hippodrome, Wednesday 4 – Sunday 29 April 2018
EDINBURGH Playhouse, Tuesday 8 May – Saturday 9 June 2018
LEEDS Grand Theatre, Wednesday 13 June – Saturday 7 July 2018
DUBLIN Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Tuesday 17 July – Sunday 26 August 2018
SUNDERLAND Empire, Tuesday 4 – Saturday 29 September 2018
SOUTHAMPTON Mayflower Theatre, Wednesday 3 – Saturday 27 October 2018 -
Tickets on sale September 2017
CARDIFF Wales Millennium Centre, Wednesday 31 October – Saturday 24 November
MANCHESTER Palace Theatre, Tuesday 4 December 2018 – Saturday 5 January 2019
EastEnders star Aaron Sidwell will play Fiyero on the forthcoming return
engagement of the spectacular, critically acclaimed and multi record-breaking UK
& Ireland Tour in 2018. Aaron Sidwell is currently playing ‘Steven Beale’ in the
BBC’s EastEnders, a role he originally played in 2007/08. His many musical
theatre appearances include Grey Gardens (Southwark Playhouse), American Idiot
(Arts Theatre, London) and the leading role of ‘Michael Dork’ in Loserville The
Musical (West Yorkshire Playhouse and in the West End).
Almost £1 million raised for charity through its FOR GOOD programme and many
other charitable endeavours, including the planting of over nearly 35,000 new
trees in support of The Woodland Trust.
Launched in 2010 with the National Literacy Trust, the Wicked Young Writer
Awards, spearheaded by Michael Morpurgo and Patron HRH The Duchess of Cornwall,
has inspired the writing of over 25,000 original stories from young people
across the UK.
Winner of 2 Olivier Audience Awards, 9 WhatsOnStage Awards (including ‘Best New
Musical’ and ‘Best West End Show’), a Visit London Gold Award, an Evening
Standard Theatre Award and over 100 awards worldwide.
In celebration of Wicked’s 10th birthday, theatre owner ATG has invested in the
complete refurbishment of the Apollo Victoria Theatre auditorium and Front of
House areas. All seats and carpets have been replaced with designs replicated
from the original design of the Grade II* listed venue that first opened its
doors, as the New Victoria Cinema, in 1930.
Executive Producer (UK) Michael McCabe said: “On behalf of Marc Platt, David
Stone, Universal Stage Productions and all of the producers, I would like to
offer our heartfelt thanks to all of our casts, musicians and production staff
who have worked so tirelessly, and with such diligence and dedication, in
helping to achieve this incredible milestone. It continues to be an absolute
privilege to work with so many exceptionally talented individuals and companies
and we couldn’t be more proud of, and grateful to, every single one of you. And
to our audiences, who have so passionately supported and championed Wicked over
the past decade, we offer our deepest gratitude.”
From Monday 24 July 2017, the London production will star Alice Fearn (Elphaba),
Sophie Evans (Glinda), Bradley Jaden (Fiyero), Melanie La Barrie (Madame
Morrible), Andy Hockley (The Wizard), Martin Ball (Doctor Dillamond), Sarah
McNicholas (Nessarose), Jack Lansbury (Boq), Laura Pick (Standby for Elphaba),
Carina Gillespie (Standby for Glinda) and Jennie Abbotts, Ashley Birchall,
Nicole Carlisle, Nicholas Corre, Conor Crown, Kerry Enright, Aimée Fisher,
Joseph Fletcher, Alexandra Grierson, Katy Hanna, Tom Andrew Hargreaves, Olivia
Kate Holding, Claudia Kariuki, Will Lucas, James McHugh, Danny Michaels, Ellie
Mitchell, Rosa O’Reilly, Matt Parsons, Alex Pinder, Sam Robinson, Paulo Teixeira,
Samantha Thomas, Hannah Toy, Russell Walker, Sasha Wareham and Libby Watts.
Alice Fearn (Elphaba - pictured above right), Sophie Evans (Glinda - pictured
Photo credit: Darren Bell.
Alice Fearn (Elphaba - pictured above in costume, photo by Matt Crocket) originally joined the London production of WICKED in 2016,
as Standby for Elphaba, and will now assume the role. Her previous West End
appearances include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Shrek The Musical, Into The Woods,
Les Misérables (also the film version) and The Woman in White. Sophie Evans (Glinda)
was the acclaimed runner-up in the BBC talent show ‘Over the Rainbow’ and
subsequently played ‘Dorothy Gale’ in The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium;
Bradley Jaden (Fiyero) is currently starring as ‘Fiyero’ on the international
tour of WICKED. He previously starred as ‘Enjolras’ in Les Misérables at the
Queen’s Theatre; Melanie La Barrie (Madame Morrible) is currently part of the
acclaimed Everyman Company at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre. Her West End roles
have included ‘Mrs Phelps’ in the original cast of Matilda, ‘Mme. Thénardier’ in
Les Misérables and ‘Mrs Corry’ in the original cast of Mary Poppins; Andy
Hockley (The Wizard) has enjoyed a long association with The Phantom of the
Opera, playing ‘Monsieur Firmin’ at London’s Her Majesty’s Theatre as well as on
the UK & Ireland Tour for over 1000 performances. He most recently played
‘Grandpa Potts’ in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at West Yorkshire Playhouse and on
the UK & Ireland Tour; Jack Lansbury (Boq) is a graduate of Mountview Academy of
Theatre Arts and will be making his West End debut in WICKED; Laura Pick
(Standby for Elphaba) appeared in The Sound of Music at the Regent’s Park Open
Air Theatre, covering and playing ‘Maria von Trapp’. Martin Ball (Doctor
Dillamond), Sarah McNicholas (Nessarose) and Carina Gillespie (Standby for
Glinda) all continue in their current roles.
Discover more at:
Hear the show: a dedicated SoundCloud channel has been created to showcase
snippets of the incredible music by multi GRAMMY® and Academy Award® winner
Stephen Schwartz. You can take a look at the channel here:
for a taste of some of the show-stopping tunes from the musical?
Also, are the links to the individuals songs on the SoundCloud channel:
The acclaimed 2017 Wicked Young Writer Awards, created and sponsored by
award-winning musical WICKED in association with the National Literary Trust,
are announcing today the names of the 115 finalists in the running for the
annual creative writing prizes. This year’s finalists can be found on the Awards
www.WickedYoungWriterAwards.com, and represent young people from England,
Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Judges photo above, by Helen Maybanks.
Championed by Patron Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall, this year’s
judges include former Labour MP, Ed Balls, ITV News Arts Editor, Nina Nannar and
the acclaimed performance poet and writer Laura Dockrill. Author and illustrator
of the How to Train Your Dragon books, Cressida Cowell, returns as Head Judge
for the third consecutive year, together with long-standing judges Jonathan
Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust and Michael McCabe, Executive
Producer of WICKED. Anna Bassi, Editor of The Week Junior is also a guest judge
for the FOR GOOD Award for Non-Fiction.
This year’s panel of judges reviewed and confirmed the finalists that sifting
judges (teachers from both primary and secondary sectors) had selected. They
then made their decisions on the winners who were announced on 23 June 2017
at an awards ceremony at Apollo Victoria Theatre.
The ceremony involved over 115 shortlisted finalists and their families and
Amongst this year’s finalists were consciously crafted stories, poems and
non-fiction pieces of writing. The brave and honest writing showed a hopefulness
for the world and understanding of the importance of empathy and the need to
give a voice to issues that concerned them, including mental illness, dementia,
kindness to strangers, hope in adversity, forced marriage, the importance of
community in the digital age and the value of education to change the world and
help us feel compassion.
Now it its 7th year, the Awards encourage young people aged 5-25 years to use
writing as a way of expressing themselves, producing unique and original pieces
of prose and poetry. Over 25,000 young people have entered the Awards since they
began in 2009, with this year seeing the fastest growing level of entries to
date. Over 600 primary and secondary schools and colleges entered this year’s
competition from all over the UK with a particularly impressive rise in entries
for the 8-10 and 18-25 categories.
Cressida Cowell said of the winners, “This year, my fellow judges and I read
poems and stories addressing really big issues - mental illness, hope in
adversity, kindness to strangers and the value of education. There was an
incredible range of styles and an array of brilliantly original voices, but they
all had this in common - they made us as judges feel something.”
Jonathan Douglas, director of the National Literacy Trust said, “Every year I am
moved by the incredible writing of the children and young people who enter the
Wicked Young Writer Awards – and this year was no exception. Children tackled
incredibly difficult subject matters with originality, creativity and an
undeniable sense of hope buoyed by the good that can come out of bad situations.
Well done to everyone who took part in this year’s awards and congratulations to
the worthy winners! We hope that the Awards will continue to inspire children
and young people to give their thoughts, ideas and passions a voice.”
WICKED cast members also performed songs from the hit musical including the
popular ‘For Good’, as well as readings of the winning entries, which were
Winner: Adam Rafael Holmes, 7, from Islington, London for Auntie Helen has gone
(This is an honest and heartfelt poem about life and death. Thoughtful, playful
and positive about death and a celebration of life).
Runner-up: Rosa Little, 6, from Botley, Oxford for The Four Seasons
(A poem about the seasons full of imaginative description and inventive use of
words language. It also features a unique and heartfelt welcome to refugees).
Joint winner: Iona Mandal, 10, from Birmingham for Indigo’s Adventures With Love
(A sophisticated and lyrical meditation on the nature of love, both tangible and
Joint winner: Miranda Tansley, 10, from Tunbridge Wells for The Suffragettes of
(This story breathes life into a true episode from the frontline of the
Winner: Isla Siggs, 13, from Eastbourne, for A Spot of Bother
(A grisly tale! A meticulously detailed history of a truly disgusting spot that
simply will not be defeated).
Winner: Julia McGrattan, 17, from Hemel Hempstead for Perfectly Unstable
(A brave, brilliantly executed, short story tackling a difficult subject of
mental health. A calculated deception or the beginning of decent into madness. A
satisfying twist forces the readers to draw their own conclusions).
Runner-up: Ilana Pearce, 15, from Leeds for Why Don’t You Just Stop?
(This poem is an insightful account of living with OCD, expressed in language
and rhythm that reflects the real struggle that sufferers face every day).
Winner: Claire Joicey, 22, from Cornhill-on-Tweed for The Attic
(A haunting and atmospheric story told in richly descriptive prose, painting a
portrait of sorrow and buried grief).
‘FOR GOOD’ Category:
Winner: Scarlett Rushton, 25, from Chalfont St Peters for Bus 305
(A surprising true story of community and the beauty and importance of
connection in the digital age).
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(Seen at the Evening performance on 11th February 2015). Some actors have
since left the cast.
There's a reason the monkey is able to re-visit this show after 9 years... it
remains a (pure) waterproof hit, as slick as its first night.
After all these years, it's very clear just what a well-constructed piece it
is. Memorable songs, satisfying story that makes its two and three-quarter hours
fly by like a magic broomstick.
Best of all, at the performance the monkey saw, a prediction it made back in
September 2011 came true. With regular Emma Hatton unavailable, Natalie Andreou
stepped in at the shortest notice as Elphaba - just as Ms Andreou did in
September 2011 for Amy Pemberton in "Rock Of Ages." The monkey said then that
"Ms Andreou isn’t known – but should be, and soon. A leading lady who producers
should be falling over themselves to sign to whichever musical takes her fancy."
The monkey is so glad the producers of "Wicked" took its advice.
At the risk of channelling its "Wicked inner fangirl" Natalie Andreou smashes
her role out of the ballpark. The monkey was almost in tears with her "I'm Not
That Girl," and "Defying Gravity" is a triumph. If this is her third
performance, her 103rd will be something. Andreou is someone special in musical
theatre. If you can catch another of her nights "on," do.
Savannah Stevenson (Galinda) and Martyn Ellis (The Wizard) are the other
stand out performances, both managing engaging performances. The ensemble too
put in a fine effort on a "double performance" day, taking the show at a slower
pace which helps the narrative.
This show remains the perfect teen treat as an introduction to musical
This review refers to the original cast. Casting has now changed.
"Lyrics and music and book, oh my!" Proof, if proof were needed, that the
old-fashioned Broadway musical isn't dead. The story is basically the
traditional "green girl wants boy, boy wants yellow girl" ending with green girl
turning boy yellow, and yellow and green girl settling their differences - with
some animal rights stuff and zingy one liners thrown in. The satisfaction is in
the neat dovetailing with the classic film - find out how the well loved
characters became what they are; the downside is overlong sequences that look
great but add twenty minutes of ballast to the proceedings.
This is very much a show of two halves. The first has Winnie "My So Called
Life" Holzman channel female adolescence with acuity once again. If business
starts to slip, producers should re-paint the theatre walls powder pink,
replace seats with furry-toy strewn beds and provide free popcorn, cosmetics and
a pizza delivery service. Very much attuned to the sleepover crowd, the fun
"Popular" and 'I wish' numbers "The Wizard and I" and "I'm
Not That Girl" are
arrows to teenage hearts. Once the director realises "Popular" works way better
with an American air-head accent than it does with a British spoof-Sloane one,
it'll be the perfect "DVD night in" substitute. That isn't to say Helen Dallimore
should be upset by frank analysis, but the director should consider the show in
need of personality dialysis and restore it to the original (United States)
state at the next cast change. Oh, and that line is probably the "wittiest" in the
show - you can almost hear Sondheim scream as it is sung.
Act two grows progressively darker, and the resolutions come late into it.
Tighter than act one, and noticeably more adult, it eschews the clumsy shifts of
place for a smoother cinematic feel but feels rushed to ensure the show comes in
at the sub-three hour mark. The searing "As Long as You're Mine" and insightful
"For Good" deserved time that "Wizomania" pointlessly occupies and could have
turned a good show into an unforgettable one. Time to contemplate motives, cause
and effect are limited, and the monkey would have appreciated more of it spaced
through the production.
Expensively staged, occasionally buckling under its own spectacular mass,
set (Elphaba could perhaps have flown properly had there been space) and a
desire to give the audience every penny of the production costs in spectacle
over substance, this is the golden era of musicals brought into the 21st
century. Those old musicals had their faults, as does this, but ultimately a
show succeeds on how deep its songs and images engrave themselves in the memory.
Probably too crass for the current "post war" musical lover (though Schwartz
produces some of his best work here), Wicked will still worm its way into the
affections of many - younger people especially - perhaps ultimately ending up as
a "standard" in fifty years time. As the dragon signifies, it is time that
tells, and this show is mostly worthy of the audiences' hours.