As you all know, I'm a huge lover of theatre and musicals and I spend a lot of my spare time seeing what London's West End presently has to offer, so when the lovely PR team at Wicked offered me a pair of tickets to see the show, I was overjoyed. I'd actually seen the Australian cast perform it when they were at Perth's Burswood Dome but it was many years ago and the memory is rather hazy. What I remembered for certain was that I absolutely loved it. The London production of Wicked is currently running at London's Apollo Victoria theatre which is conveniently located right next to Victoria station, so getting there was quite a breeze. As soon as you step into the foyer, everything is pretty much decorated in the colour green and it felt very apt indeed with my current hair situation haha. My friend and I headed to the bar to purchase some drinks and snacks for the show. I recommended the Green Elixir to her, inspired by the drink of the same name out of the musical, it's a vividly glowing green concoction of pineapple juice and Midori while I settled for a green slushie and a huge bucket of popcorn.
I'm sure many of you are familiar with The Wizard of Oz, Wicked essentially tells the backstory of the two witches, Elphaba (The Wicked Witch of the West) and Galinda (The Good Witch), and how they were actually friends before all that happened with Dorothy. It's a beautiful tale that centres around the life of Elphaba, starting from her childhood and leading all the way up to the events after Dorothy's capture, it will bless you with a completely different perspective of her. The cast are absolutely outstanding, Emma Hatton definitely steals the show as the bullied yet immeasurably sassy green witch with a heart of gold, who dares to be different and doesn't give two hoots about what others think about her, proving that being an outcast doesn't make you any less of a person. Her soaring (no pun intended) rendition of Defying Gravity definitely showcased her powerful voice. Savannah Stevenson brings a ditsy, shallow side to the blonde Galinda, which almost immediately positioned me to root for The Wicked Witch, something I'd never thought I'd do. Make no mistake, Galinda is a good person, and something I very much admire about this story is that instead of going along the lines of a cliche fairytale, it shows that realistically people are much more complex and cannot merely be defined by 'good' or 'evil', and that events and actions all play a part in shaping who a person comes to be. The saying goes that you should never judge someone before you walk a mile in their shoes and this message is something that I think is severely lacking in the media and pop culture nowadays so I'm glad for shows like this exposing it to a younger audience. Furthermore, the supporting characters all add to enrich the story. From their school teacher and Elphaba's defining mentor, Doctor Dillamond, to the dashing Fiyero who exceeds all expectations of a typical love interest, to Elphaba's wheelchair bound sister Nessa, there isn't a single person without a tale to tell and I love how different they all are.
Along with the heartwarming tale and inspiring moral, the musical is packed full of catchy anthems and power ballads that I guarantee will be stuck in your head until you purchase the soundtrack. The costumes and props are remarkable and I noticed such a great amount of detail given to each character no matter how minor, which really helps to create a full, multi-dimensional atmosphere that truly immerses you into the world of Oz. Even for the second time around I was entranced from start to finish, there were moments that had me laughing, crying, sighing, and smiling. I absolutely adore the character of Elphaba, I always feel I relate to underdogs and her journey is nothing short of motivating. I think the ending is super clever too, the way it ties in to The Wizard of Oz is just perfect. After the show, my friend told me that she thoroughly enjoyed it and I shared the same sentiment after my second viewing. I think it's definitely one of the best musicals I've ever witnessed and would be wonderful to experience together with your loved ones. Book tickets for Wicked here.