This weekend Emmy and I left the boys at home and headed off to the West End with my Sister and Niece, our destination was to the Apollo Victoria Theatre to see Wicked.
This was a musical I first saw when it hit the stage 10 years ago, a leaving present from my old family I Nannied for, and I have longed to go back ever since. It captured me from the off and I was mesmerised, the CD was then played on repeat in my car for at least a year.
I know Emmy would just love it but had to wait until she was a little older at it is advised for over 7’s due to a few scary scenes. Emmy will be 7 in February and I felt she was now old enough. My niece is 13 and had seen it before however my sister hadn’t and the excitement built all day.
If you’ve not heard of Wicked before – it is the untold story of the Witches of Oz. The story of the Wicked Witch of the West and the Good Witch of the East.
Glinda – the Good and Elphaba the Bad.
The story starts as the town are celebrating the death of the Wicked Witch of the West having been melted by Dorothy – this part of the story, the end to the Wizard of Oz story is well known by all. Wicked tells the story of the two Witches meeting at University and hating each other, or ‘Loathing, unadulterated loathing”
The girls are so very different that it seems unlikely they will ever be friends. Elphaba, the Governor of Munchkinland’s daughter arrives at Shiz University to look after her wheelchair bound sister NessaRose, she has no friends and everyone is a little afraid of her as she is Green. Glinda, most interested in fashion, being popular, boys and her mirror!
The girls end up being room mates and trying their best to avoid each other at all costs.
Elphaba wasn’t always bad, infact she actually isn’t and this story shows her trying to care for and do right by the animals of Munchkinland, with the unlikely help on one occasion of Prince Fiyero, a jack the lad character who wants to have fun dancing and has no interest in learning – a perfect fit for Glinda as he is also interested in fashion, being popular and mirrors!
Watching this show for the second time felt just like the first time, with a new cast it is like seeing it all over again as each new performer has their own way of preforming the role and bringing their own personalities onto the stage.
Emmy was gripped and enchanted from the off, LOVED Glinda’s clothes and declared that uni was fun and she wanted to go dancing all night long…..thankfully I’ve a few years to save up still, and to drum into her that you actually do need to work hard.
She did get scared when the flying monkey’s appeared and the mask on the Wizards door spoke for the first time, which is why this show is advised for over 7’s, however she laughed at the monkeys on the next occasion and clapped at the Wizard.
My absolute favourite part seems to also be Emmy’s too which is when Elphaba casts her spell to make her broomstick fly and becomes ‘the wicked witch of the west’ and sings Defying Gravity, her and Glinda have to at this point choose which side they will be on…..Good or Bad.
I won’t go into too much more detail as you really do have to see this for yourself but I will say that all you hear may not be true…….rumours can get out of hand and become twisted, the good may not always be good and the bad not always bad. This show also portrays the message of anti-bullying, Glinda and her friends teased Elphaba at the start of her school days for being different but she refused to let it get to her and finally Glinda sees the errors in her ways and stands tall next to Elphaba to put a stop to it once and for all.
This September Wicked celebrated it’s 10th year in the West End and it is still going strong, in those 10 years the cast may have changed many times, the costumes evolved and more elaborate and the sets upgraded but this all adds to the show and it is now even better than I remember it.
Once again the cast received a standing ovation from its audience and if you are lucky as we were you will catch Anita Dobson playing Madam Morrible and Mark Curry as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
After the performance we were very lucky and had the chance to meet Oliver Savile who plays Fiyero, he was lovely with the children, autographed their programmes and posed for pictures before rushing backstage again to eat and rest up for that evenings performance where he would do it all over again.
If you do have the chance to see this show I highly recommend you do…but be warned you will find yourself singing the songs for weeks to come….I have the soundtrack playing currently as I type.
Tickets are available for the box office www.wickedthemusical.co.uk
Next on our to-do-list with the kids are Matilda and The Lion King. If you are quick you can still grab the last tickets to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory before it closes on the 7th January – you can read my review here.
Disclaimer: We were invited as guests to see this show, all thoughts and opinions are my own.