Art for entertainment's sake

Wicked Show Review

wicked show

Wicked is a stage musical presently showing at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in London and has received many rave reviews from critics far and wide. Naturally I was really looking forward to seeing this show as I am an avid musical fan, while one of my all time favourite films is in fact The Wizard of Oz.

The Story

The story in Wicked relates how the Wicked Witch of the West from the film The Wizard of Oz came to be so named. Apparently The Wicked Witch of the West who was born green and named Elphaba and the beautiful Witch Glinda were friends at scorcery academy. As their journey progresses they meet the Wizard of Oz who affects the girls in different ways resulting in them both taking very different paths.

Glinda is very ambitious and not all she seems, while Elphaba is misunderstood and quite a kindly girl who stays true to her principles. This all has catastrophic consequences for the witches as you will see with The Wicked Witch of the West the loser.

The Production

On arrival in our seats we noted the huge dragon that was hovering over the front of the stage giving an air of mystical anticipation before the show even started. Indeed as far as costumes and special effects go Wicked is second to none. As soon as the curtain went up the mighty dragon reared forward towards the audience breathing fire and smoke, while the stage was filled with dancers and singers bringing a really exciting start to the show.

The flying monkeys, that also featured in The Wizard of Oz were spectacular, looking very life like as they flew high above the stage, while Glinda in her beautiful shimmering dress and sparkly tiara descended onto the stage in a gilded cage as she sang beautifully.

I am afraid this is where the magic ended for me as the whole show rambled on and on with very little dialogue but a barrage of songs that I would describe as boring or acceptable at best. The anticipation I felt at the beggining of the show had waned, while it was a matter of getting to the interval without falling sleep, unlike the gentleman sitting next to me who slept all the way through the second half much to the annoyance of his wife/partner/friend!

The show seemed to drag on from one unknown forgettable song to the next and I couldn’t wait for it all to be over. That’s not to say the production was not good, as I have previously said the costumes and special effects were second to none but they just couldn’t make up for an otherwise boring show.

Elpheba played by Willemijn Verkaik did a sterling job and sang beautifully, while Glinda was suitably sweet as played by Savannah Stevenson. These ladies sang their hearts out but it was difficult to stifle the yawns as they sprang into duet after duet. I thought, is it me? This show has rave reviews and has won awards but after the interval I did notice that some audience members had not returned to their seats!

The wizard played by Sam Kelly of Allo Allo fame was okay but lacked the oomph of a true wizard in my opinion, while overall I think the cast did a sterling job but failed to please.

My Verdict

I suppose you can guess what my verdict is? I definitely would not recommend Wicked as a first choice when visiting London and taking in a show. I was really dissappointed that this show did not deliver for me, neither did it for my companion or indeed the sleeping man next to me. Visually it is an extravaganza but on all other levels I’m afraid, it failed miserably for me.