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 27th September 2017, the show became the 15th 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 is
revisiting the following ten cities:
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
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, Amy Ross (Elphaba),
(Glinda - pictured above, photo credit Matt Crockett), Steven Pinder (The Wizard and Doctor Dillamond), Kim Ismay (Madame
Morrible), Emily Shaw (Nessarose), Iddon Jones (Boq) and Nikki Bentley (Standby
for Elphaba) on this forthcoming return
engagement of the spectacular, critically acclaimed and multi record-breaking UK
& Ireland Tour.
Pictured above are (left to right): Aaron Sidwell (Fiyero), Helen Woolf (Glinda)
and Amy Ross (Elphaba). Photo credit: Darren Bell.
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. In November 2017, the cast and company
hosted a green theatre day and raised over £16,500 to help the Woodland Trust
plant 11,000 trees at a St Albans forest. 2017 marks the seventh year of a
partnership between the long-running musical and the Woodland Trust. The
partnership has raised a total of over £58,000 directly helping the Trust plant
more than 39,000 trees at Heartwood Forest, St Albans.
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.
www.wickedyoungwriterawards.com. This year author, award-winning
journalist and former Labour MP Ed Balls is returning to join on the judging
panel, alongside acclaimed Young People’s Laureate for London, Caleb Femi and
Editor-in-Chief of First News, Nicky Cox MBE. Author and illustrator of the How
to Train Your Dragon books, Cressida Cowell, returns as Head Judge for the
fourth consecutive year, together with long-standing judges Jonathan Douglas,
Director of the National Literacy Trust and Michael McCabe, Executive Producer
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.
WICKED was voted ‘Best Theatre Production for Schools’ by educators for a second
consecutive year at the School Travel Awards. Organised by School Travel
Organiser Magazine, the School Travel Awards recognise the best venues,
attractions and companies for educational visits, in order that teachers can
organise first class experiences when it comes to learning outside the
classroom. The awards were presented at the Royal Garden Hotel in London on
Thursday 9th November 2017.
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, and on
the show's 12th anniversary by Darren Bell) 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:
WICKED, together with the National Literacy Trust, have just completed the eighth
year of the prestigious WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS. Entries are now closed. Details can be found at
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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.