Wicked review

Theatre, West End Apollo Victoria , Victoria Until Saturday May 25 2019
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(129user reviews)
Wicked, Apollo Victoria
© Matt Crockett

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The musical witches of this 'Wizard of Oz' prequel are still casting a spell over the West End

The film world continues its love affair with werewolves, vampires and all things 'Twilight'. But theatre types have always known witches are where it's at. After its 2006 opening at Apollo Victoria, Oz prequel 'Wicked' continues to fill this massive theatre with an international crowd of voracious consumers (glass of champagne and a choccy for £16 anyone?). But this stylish and bombastic musical still delivers, sailing over its patchy score thanks to a gravity-defying performance from its current leading lady Rachel Tucker, as the intense green-skinned undergrad who goes on to become the Wicked Witch of the West.

'Wicked' is a spectacle that rises or falls around its central performance. In the midst of a gigantic production full of bangs, bells and whistles Tucker, with her small frame and searing vocal ability, simply flies off with the show.

She's closely followed by Gina Beck, who plays good girl, Glinda. Glinda and Elphaba's relationship forms the heart of this story and, as the Good Witch, Beck is a consummate clown, playing up the silliness of her character at every turn. But she can raise a tear, too, and her final duet with Tucker, 'For Good', is genuinely heart-rending.

The Tim Burton-inspired ensemble oscillate between the hypnotic and grotesque and a sweet but thin voiced Matt Willis charms as the rather superfluous Prince. As in classical ballet, this is all about the women and, even by previous lead Idina Menzel's standards, they are in soaring form here.

This review is from 2015. The current cast of 'Wicked' is 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) and Carina Gillespie(Standby for Glinda).

Check offical website for full cast details.

How to get cheap tickets: a limited number of front row stalls day seats for night’s performance will go on sale at the box office every morning from 10.30am, priced £29.50 each. In person only.

By: Honour Bayes

Posted:

Venue name: Apollo Victoria
Contact:
Address: 17
Wilton Road
Westminster
London
SW1V 1LG
Opening hours: Check website for show times
Transport: Rail/Tube: Victoria
Price: £19.50-£175. Runs 2hr 45min
Event website: http://www.wickedthemusical.co.uk
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:68
  • 4 star:36
  • 3 star:11
  • 2 star:9
  • 1 star:4
LiveReviews|129
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2 of 2 found helpful

We went to last Saturday night‘s show. The theatre is directly opposite Victoria tube station so easy to get to and find. We got to the theatre at 7.15pm which allowed plenty of time. 


I really enjoyed this fun show - Emma Hatton is a great Elphaba, with an amazing voice! Best moment for me was the 'Defying Gravity' number just before the interval. I did sometimes struggle hearing the words in some songs but the story itself was easy to keep up with and there were many good references to the Wizard of Oz film! The cast was great and the costumes were stunning!


I didn't leave this show feeling speechless as I did when I went to see the Lion King but I did thoroughly enjoy it and would recommend it!.


tastemaker

Wicked was not my first choice but we got a really good discount on the tickets so I gave it a try.

I was really surprised, in the good way! I absolutely loved it!


The lead singer had a wonderful strong voice and the visual of the musical was really good.

The musical is a lovely lesson of tolerance.


Worth going!

tastemaker

I had no idea what this show was about but was really pleasantly surprised! The story of how the wicked witch became to be perceived as wicked was really sad! However most of the show was funny and uplifting to watch. Although I didn't know any of the songs going in they were all really catchy and I ended up listening to some on Spotify afterwards! The set and theatre were both beautiful as well. Highly recommend for all ages!

tastemaker

I really enjoyed this show and I am not a huge fan of musicals normally. The set was really impressive and there were some great performances all round. My only negative is that some of the songs do go on a bit too long but thats it! Such a fun night and conveniently located near to lots of restaurants and Victoria Tube and train stations.

Tastemaker

I love the Wizard of Oz and was really excited to finally see Wicked. The first part feels slightly dragged and I was happy about the interval, the second part picked up the pace and storyline and was more enjoyable. All in all it's a great play and combines everything you are looking for in a musical - friendship, love, comedy and a bit of drama. The set and colours are amazing and I'd definitely recommend it. 


Wicked is simply magical. If you love the Wizard of Oz, fairytales and music. This is the west end show for you. The singing is beautiful. The show is funny and tells the story of two unlikely friends! Located in Victoria which is very easy to get to. There are restaurants nearby. I would definitely recommend the show.

Tastemaker

A good night out for Wizard of Oz fans. While the first half starts off with what feels like a slightly underwhelming and hectic opening number, stick with it, because it steadily gains momentum as the show goes on and even rolls out a couple of extra catchy songs - ‘Popular’ (which I was humming as I left the theatre that night) and ‘Defying Gravity’ (a showstopper to rival the classic Broadway musicals). One thing I didn’t realise before I saw the show was that the storyline also ties up a couple of unanswered questions in the original story (why is the tin man made of tin? How did the house fall on the witch’s sister?) which was an unexpected and satisfying bonus.

tastemaker

Wicked is definitely worth a watch! The scenery is spectacular and the actors are super talented. It's a little bit cheesy but all musicals are aren't they?! I also felt both parts of the show could be about 15 mins shorter as some parts felt like they dragged to just fit more songs in.

My friend and I really enjoyed the second half more than the first as this is when the clever references to the Wizard of Oz start to unfold and you feel as though you are being let in to this special secret that only those who will watch the show will know!

This was my second time seeing it and I would definitely recommend, the first time was a few years ago and it didn't disappoint. Great for a girls evening and close to all the eateries at Nova Victoria for pre-theatre dinnner.

tastemaker

Wicked is an absolute spectacle. The costumes are stunning, the set is incredible, you are constantly drawn to another fascinating part of the stage design.

I love Wicked. The CD has been playing constantly in our car for years, and my sister and I know all the words by heart. So, it was with an enormous sense of anticipation that I took my boyfriend to see Wicked. He knew nothing about it, and is not really a theatre person. Wicked blew his mind. Even before the show begins, the curtain doesn’t hide the magic that you will see: the map of the Emerald City sparkles, and a giant puppet dragon overlooks the audience. Immediately you are prepared to land in this wonderful world full of magical secrets (in the interval we had a sneaky google to see how the Wizards’ head worked).

In terms of budget and splendour, this could almost be a Disney show, but it’s so much more than that. The music is powerful, the characters diverse and complicated. A musical dominated not by a love story, but a story of friendship, and determination in the face of prejudice.

We were sat in Stalls J 8/9. The seats were good and we could see everything, but being quite close to the stage left speaker, the band/singer balance was unbalanced, and we sometimes struggled to catch the words. I would probably advise that you go for centre stalls, or dress circle seats.

Mesmerising. Can I go again?!

tastemaker

One of the best shows in London! I never get tired of the incredible songs and storyline in this musical. 
The voices of the cast are sensational and the Victoria Theatre is a great size, meaning you do not need to worry too much about seat allocation. 
Drinks and snacks are expensive, however, I have found this with most London musical venues. 

tastemaker

Defy Gravity is one of my all time favourite musical songs, and wow!! last night did not disappoint. Both witches had amazingly powerful singing voices that send shivers through the audience. The stage transformation is also so very impressive. This is a great show for all the family and has fantastic references to The Wizard of Oz which are funny and add to the show. I have seen this show before but still loved it a second time around many many years later. Seating around row t was perfect, great view, great sound. IN addition the theatre is also stunning however drinks and snacks are expensive. 

tastemaker

I really really enjoyed this last night with my partner!!! it was really fun, engaging, interesting and an incredible performance. I have always heard of Wicked, but I am so glad to have finally experienced it! The singing was really loud, but we were sat right in the front! I would definitely recommend to go and see it! 

tastemaker

I am a huge fan of Wizard of Oz and was excited to be able to finally see its prequel Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. I was not disappointed - it was spectacular! The stage looked magical, the lighting and effects will take you to land of Oz, where animal where able to speak and sorcery is a part of a school curriculum. The costumes and make up are fantastic as well as well as the most important part which is the acting and singing. It was a bit too loud in the front stalls, but maybe its just me being overly sensitive. 

Another thing worth mentioning is that Glindas vocal is so beautiful and crystal clear it puts a shadow even on Elphaba's 'Defying Gravity', which was not bad at all. Superb spectacle! 

Tastemaker

I've wanted to see this for 12 years and last night I finally got to see this musical I've been so curious about. This prequel retro-fits in a lot of lore to explain how, for instance, the Tin Man and Scarecrow came to be, and also shows that things in The Wizard of Oz aren't quite what they seemed. That is, the Wicked Witch of the West isn't so wicked after all, but is in fact misunderstood. If you've seen Frozen then you'll recognise a fair few similar themes here. Not all of the songs are super memorable or catchy, but the musical definitely has some heart-felt one-on-one moments that will make you well up, as well as some great spectacular pieces such as the witch floating in mid-air and Oz's big mechanical head booming a big bassy voice that could scare young children. Definitely one of the best musicals out there.

tastemaker

I was a big fan of the Wizard of Oz as a kid so I was obviously attracted to this prequel story. It tells the story from the perspective of the Wicked witch of the West and her friend Glenda the Good witch and it does so really cleverly.

The cast were amazing, the story is filled with ‘oh yeah that’s in the Wizard of Oz’ clever tie in moments and the staging and costumes are both clever and breathtaking. For me the one weak point is the actual songs. Defying gravity is the one big hi5 from this musical but it doesn’t grab me in the same catchy way as many musicals hits do. The cast did sing their hearts out though and the production overall was truly impressive. I had a really enjoyable night out and I’d recommend others go see this show but I feel fairl6 confident that this musicals tunes will not stick in my mind. Slightly forgettable unfortunately. Glinda totally stole the show for me.

tastemaker

Third time watching Wicked! It's the only show I've seen more than once. I didn't think it was as good this time round though. Guess there is too much of a good thing after all. I'd still recommend it if you haven't seen it before. Remember to get concession rates for wheelchair users! 😁


I saw the show from cheap seat on the far side of the stalls. The one downside was the loud speakers right in front of the seat (I had to put on some headphones to block some of the sound). However, the show was amazing! 


Wicked was a great show with interesting storyline and moral. The show had a happier ending than the book, which I actually really enjoyed.


The obvious moral is not to judge someone by their appearance (both the Wicked Witch and the prince turn out to be more than their appearances might imply). The show also hints that people shouldn't blindly trust in authority figures -- the wicked witch originally believes too much in her headmistress and Oz. Finally, I love how the story touches on character development and why it's worth befriending even the most unlikable people. No one is completely evil, just as no one is wholly good.

tastemaker

This is the prequal to the Wizard of Oz. The storyline is so well done you could actually believe it came before the Wizard of Oz.


The songs are all catchy and breath taking. You could easily listen to them before the show and still be spell bound when watching the two leading ladies totally hit every single note. 


The costumes are amazing and the monkeys are so life like they scared me quite a lot. 


I wouldnt actually recommend the front of the stalls. Sitting further back is better as you get to see the bigger picture plus theres a lot of spit that comes from the singers when they are defying gravity. 


You will leave wishing you could sing half as well as the cast. 


In saw this on Valentines day with my girlfriend. Our experience was great! apart from the seats we chose. Which weren't that good in the middle to the side right. The story was great and we enjoyed the show. Only problem was the seats. My vision failed me. they were the cheaper seats. We got pins afterwards.

tastemaker

I just saw Wicked this week, few months before they close out in London. I can practically sing along to most of the songs as they've all become so popular. Defying gravity is amazing. Also I went home and watched the original Wizard of Oz immediately - and the story tie ins are solid. 


Had the opportunity to watch this show Friday 9th Feb 2018 Evening Show - it was brilliant. I first saw the show in 2010 I think and was wow'd back then, but I found myself spirited away in this magical story again with the gift of both Glinda & Elphaba singing there hearts out which was spot on and full of emotion complimenting each other.

I have to say I lost myself in Elphaba's (Aimée Fisher) performance reducing me to tears a couple of times and been blown away especially listening to the Gravity......

The special effects, lighting, sound and scenery were magical and the costumes were so beautiful especially the emeral city costumes. I particularly loved the wizard special effects/scenery which was larger than life.

The seat's I had (in the stalls) were perfect and brilliant visually and good audio. Considering this was a late booking - the box office were really

helpful.

Before going home I waited near the stage door for a time and observed Aimée Fisher spend time with a number of 'fans' who had patiently waited especially for her and were obviously not disappointed like myself. She clearly made one young girls day by signing the programme and talking the time to both to talk to her and answer questions. Aimée Fisher (Elphaba) was so humble. What a brilliant night and I can't wait to go again taking my youngest daughter to see this fantastic show.

tastemaker

I have mixed-feelings for Wicked. The cast is amazing, everyone has a powerful and beautiful voice, the costume are also impressive, vivid, full of details and shiny. The play itself disappointed me a bit because I find the story too predictable and similar to many other. IMHO some songs were too long and similar so after the first minute I was bored. 

I'm glad to have seen it because it is one of the longest running show in London and it was on my watchlist since a while. 


We found this show very disappointing and really not worth the money. The sound quality was poor, so one could not hear the words clearly. It was very frustrating and We would certainly not recommend or go back to this theatre.

tastemaker

Wicked gives you so much – a big cast, exotic, colourful scenery, banging tunes – that you get so much bang for your buck! It has stood the test of time and is just as hilarious and entertaining as it was ten years ago. Go see it, it’s Wickedly amazing!

tastemaker

I really wanted to like Wicked after all of the rave reviews but I just don't think this show was for me. It took me a while to get into the storyline and, even then, I was just waiting for the show to end. I went in completely blind only knowing a few lines from some of the more famous songs so perhaps this contributed to my lacklustre reaction. I have friends who have literally seen this multiple times and it's clearly a popular choice but I just found it a tad too cheesy and overrated for my liking.

tastemaker

One of my favourite musicals.

The singing is wonderful and the cast are perfect

The set is impressive.

Worth every penny!

tastemaker

The singing is fabulous, the story of the two witches from different backgrounds is well portrayed. Impressive set, love the dragon. So much care and thought has gone into this production and hands down is one of the best! I went during Christmas time, was a sellout, would love to go back.

tastemaker

This is the best musical on at the moment by far. Not a lot of shows have what this one has, great set, story, songs, costume, choreography and fantastic actors. The songs are actually memorable, one of few I've actually bought the soundtrack of. If you want value for your money this show is hard to beat!

Tastemaker

Follow the yellow brick road down to the Apollo Theatre, Victoria to watch this sensational show. With a brilliant cast, stage scenery and catchy tunes, this is one is a real crowd pleaser. It's a real family show but with some adult humour to keep the parents amused. 

tastemaker

Hands down one of my favourite London theatre performances! We saw it around Christmas time which I think was just magical in itself, but the musical production and the actors and actresses did an absolutely fantastic job of bringing the story to life in such a magical and spectacular way. I was lucky enough to get front-row on the day tickets for approx £29 each. I began queuing outside the theatre at around 8.30/8.45am on the morning of the performance, and there was already a handful of people ahead of me - so it may be advised to get there even earlier in the summertime. I was lucky to get the last 2 seats on the front-row. There was a slight neck stretch being so close but apart from that it was amazing being so close to the stage. The theatre is located a stones throw away from Victoria station (aside from all the construction work in Victoria right now), which makes it so convenient to get home after an evening performance. There are also plenty of great restaurants and bars in the area if you wanted to grab a pre-dinner meal or drink. I would recommend this performance as a must-see for all.

Tastemakertastemaker

I've seen this now, not once but twice.  Admittedly, the second time I saw it was not as good as the first because the actors had changed - so your enjoyment of the night will definitely depend on who is on stage.


For those who have no idea, the story line is what happens in the lead up to the Wizard of Oz and tells the story behind Elphaba (wicked witch).  It's a brilliant take on a classic tale, and I almost wish they did the same thing for all the evil characters in story-tales.


There are plenty of places to eat nearby that offer theatre deals, so if you're thinking of making a night of it - definitely possible! 

Staff Writer

As a fan of the Wizard of Oz' tales, I was very curious to see what the production put on stage to explain why the Witch of East became the nasty one and the witch of west the good one... This show is extremely amazing!! i saw it 8 times in the past 6 years!! the costumes are outstanding, the story heartbreaking and the performance of Elphaba breathtaking! This is probably the BEST show in the west end!!! Let the story take you through Munchkinland  and the Emerald City...

Staff Writer

I saw this a very long time ago and so my review may be a little dated in terms of cast for sure. That aside, the story, production and songs will be all the same hehe


It was the song 'defying gravity' that had made me want to see this, that and I am a massive fan of 'The Wizard of Oz' and wanted to see the story of the wicked witch. I was very impressed on the interpretation of who the wicked witch really was and how she became wicked...or not. 


Defying Gravity was my favourite song and it was sung incredibly, oh how I love that last note. It's a fun and colourful musical. I would say one that the family would love as well as a few who like a good musical with great songs and good humour. 




Slow and meandering first half. Didn't stick around after the interval.

Lacked pizazz or any sort of wickedness! Wasn't what I was expecting.


I have seen this show 4 times and it never gets old. The costumes are amazing, like the set, and the cast + ensemble is phenomenal!

Staff Writertastemaker

I'm so surprised that everyone loves this show, but they seem to so I'll try not dampen spirits.


I would say that the songs aren't exactly pop bangers, a little schmaltzy perhaps and more inline with a Disney movie than a stage show for adults, so if that's not your sort of thing maybe save the quids.


I also think the costume and staging needs a re-vamp, the steampunk victoriana styling is a little jarring in 2015 and is dating rapidly, for me it dates the whole set which has some impressive transformations.



Tastemaker

I absolutely loved this show, I have been dying to see it for so long and I recently just got the chance. It is very cleverly written and the plot is really captivating at is completley different from what you would expect. The cast was all very good, and even though it was a little strange to hear the songs I've heard for so long sung in another accent, they did an amazing job.

Tastemaker

My favourite musical! I've seen this three times now and i can't fault it at all! I love it each time! I get so drawn in by the fantastic singing!


A pretty good production with a very convincing Elphaba, I definitely wouldn't say I had the best seats in the building, but even from my obscure position in the audience, I still could enjoy the stunning voices of most of the cast (particularly Emma Hatton who played Elphaba). I even cried when she sang 'Defying Gravity' - so i think this one is a winner!

Tastemaker

A beautiful story told with some incredible staging and songs.  A few of the big hits have become popular from other shows but there is much more to Wicked than those few songs!  The acting is fantastic and the costumes are stunning.  One for all the family, even if you haven't seen Wizard of Oz in a few years (I would definitely make sure anyone going has seen it at some point though!).  Not the best show in London but definitely top 5! 

Tastemaker

Everything a traditional musical should be - huge numbers, amazing staging and a sensational story that will transport you to Oz for a few magical hours. 

Tastemaker

Having been fortunate enough to have seen quite a few shows in London, I have to stay I think this is the most over rated. I feel like I must have missed something because I really can't see what all the fuss is about!

Didn't seem to be much of a storyline and is it just me or do all the songs sound exactly the same but with different words?! (Not that you can understand the words anyway!)

Would have probably given one star but the extra one is for Defying Gravity, the only famous song from the show, which was performed very well.

Tastemaker

I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable this show was! I admit being a bit sceptical about the it beforehand (I’m not into stories about witches for about 20 years now), but a combination of great performance, cleaver production and engaging plot and it all worth it!
Wicked is especially great choice for a family evening out, but don't let your age stop you - there is something in it for everyone!


This is official my first 5 start review ever (I pretty sure...).

Amazing musical, beautify story and stunning voices, I was absolutely speechless.


I'm fortunate to have seen many of the musical in London and Wicked is now my favorite.

Please go and see it and in the end join the rest of the audience in a standing ovation because I'm sure it will happen. :)

Tastemaker

I've seen Wicked four times on the West End and once in LA. It's unfair to expect the West End to live up to the first amazing experience of it, but the cast does a pretty good job. 


I love the story and the songs - for me both get five stars. 


The current leads are excellent, with Tucker in particular bringing gusto to the role of Elphaba, and Glinda too is very good. The supporting cast, however, could be better, as both Madame Morable and Fiero don't bring as much charm to the stage as perhaps they could. I find both rather grating.


The theatre is massive. I wouldn't pay extra for the centre/middle rows of the stalls; as it's an old cinema there is quite a slope and even as quite a tall adult it was difficult to see the stage over the head of the person in front.


A good London experience but don't pay over the odds. 

Tastemaker

Great acting and stunning set of voices. A must-see show!


I'm not the biggest fan of musicals, but given what I have heard about it, (mostly very positive), I decided to give it a go.


The theatre is small but you do get a good view of the stage. I was up in the gods, and other than the acoustics being a little load at times, I was happy with the seat. The story is a little on the thin side and a tad cliche. But, the actors and staging was decent.


For a non musical fan, there are plenty of laughs to enjoy and it is worth a trip. Plenty of good deals on at the moment too.

Staff Writer

Did I watch the same show as everyone else?!


It was all I could do not to walk out after the first five minutes of this tosh. The story line was vapid, the acting and singing brought me close to tears for all the wrong reasons. I managed to glue myself to my seat for the second half, convinced that it had to get better after the interval - but no, the second half was even worse. 


Having said that, it's clear that I am alone in my thoughts so go and see it for yourself and make up your own mind!



It was a great show and the music was spellbinding. The leading actresses had exceptional voices. A great night out!

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