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), David Witts (Fiyero), Melanie La Barrie (Madame Morrible), Andy Hockley (The Wizard), Chris Jarman (Doctor Dillamond), Rosa O’Reilly (Nessarose), Jack Lansbury (Boq),Laura Pick (Standby for Elphaba) and Carina Gillespie & Maria Coyne (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.
|Venue name:||Apollo Victoria|
|Opening hours:||Check website for show times|
|Price:||£19.50-£175. Runs 2hr 45min|
Average User Rating
4.2 / 5
- 5 star:69
- 4 star:38
- 3 star:12
- 2 star:9
- 1 star:4
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!.
Going into the theatre, I wasn’t too sure on what to expect. As previously I had heard very positive remarks about the musical, I was setting quite high expectations. I think the eye to detail in the set and effects were what really draw me in. On first impressions, I recall seeing an impressively sized animatronic dragon above the stage, and huge clockwork backdrops.
The plot was, what I believe, a sort of ‘rendition’ or sequel to the ‘Wonderful Wizard of Oz’. Without giving too much of it away, the story focuses in on the life of Elphaba, whom grows to earn the title of the infamous ‘Wicked Witch of the West’. It gives sort of an altered view into this parallel, fictional universe. Additionally, if you have read the book or perhaps understand the brief synopsis of the novel, the musical fits in very cleverly with some of the original characters such as how the tin man lost his heart and the story behind the cowardly lion.
My only negative downside would probably be that if you were to buy tickets further up the theatre, towards the back, it sometimes becomes more difficult to see the stage in full depth. Obviously, I could still enjoy the music, dances and acting, but just as precaution!
If you enjoy something with a bit of drama, comedy and catchy songs, I would definitely recommend going to see Wicked!
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.
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.
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?!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
One of my favourite musicals.
The singing is wonderful and the cast are perfect
The set is impressive.
Worth every penny!
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!
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!
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. :)
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.
It was a great show and the music was spellbinding. The leading actresses had exceptional voices. A great night out!
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