Last night Catherine & I went to see Wicked at the Palace Theatre in Manchester.
Wicked started in 2003 on Broadway, The London production is the 5th longest-running musical in the West end, so it must be doing something right.
Interesting fact for you in 2013 the first tour outside of London was started in our lovely city of Manchester at the Palace Theatre.
Everyone knows the story of the Wizard of Oz right? Well, this shines a light on another possible story. Wicked is based on ‘Wicked the life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ by Gregory Maguire which was obviously influenced by The wonderful wizard of Oz.
When we arrived at the Palace Theatre we were greeted to a Green Carpet and the atmosphere was one of excitement. Once we got to our seats the stage was lit up in an Emerald green hue and above the stage was a menacing mechanical dragon, whose eyes lit up throughout the show.
The show opens to Mourn the Wicked where we are introduced to Glinda the Good (Helen Woolf) and the Citizen of Oz. We meet her descending on a bubble announcing the demise of the Wicked Witch and she is questioned about her relationship with the Witch. She went to university with her and we are taken back to the start of their meeting. Helen Woolf plays the good Witch to a tee, her high pitch shrill voice makes you think she is perfect for the saccharine role of Glinda.
The first Act is based at the school which Glinda attends alongside The Wicked Witch and her sister through different Witchery classes. It shows their relationship and how that changes throughout their time there.
Now the Wicked Witch known as Elphaba (Amy Ross) appears and she was born Green.
The makeup on this production is fantastic and I can’t help but think how hard it must be to get off!! Amy’s voice is great, and she features in many different songs but my favourite was Defying Gravity, which I think a lot of people have attempted to sing but where most have failed Amy definitely hits the right notes in this show. I can see why she got the role.
What musical would there be without a love interest, Fiyero (Steven Pinder ) He holds his own in his songs against the strong vocals from the other two leads. He plays the aloof Prince who hasn’t lasted very long at any school.
The musical is about looking different and how the world perceives people who look different. The second act is focused more on the demise of Elphaba from student to the Wicked Witch we know from the Wizard of Oz.
The songs are recognisable from shows such as Glee and they tell the story of the two Witches well.
The costumes are in a league of their own with the steampunk influence and I feel are the star of the show and you can clearly see why the show has received an Olivier nomination for it.
The show was truly enjoyable and time flew by and I didn’t feel like the show dragged in any part, the sets kept your gaze although one of our favourite moments was when the awful animatronic lion cub appeared on stage, it did have us laughing, probably not intentionally though!
There were moments for all ages and it certainly had everyone laughing!!
I recommend you go see this show it was Definity a Wicked treat!!!
Wicked is on until the 5th January! Go See it you won’t regret it!!
Review by Emma- Louise Lowe