Wicked is one of my favourite musicals and we were lucky to see it in the West End when Idina Menzel played the iconic role of Elphaba.
As the kids get older we are keen to introduce them to the delights of the theatre often play our favourite soundtracks in the house. Eliza has really caught the theatre bug now and has been nagging us to take her to see Wicked for 5 years (according to her), so when we discovered it was heading off on tour and coming to The Mayflower in Southampton, we bought our tickets.
If you are not familiar with the story of Wicked, it is a prequel to the Wizard of Oz which answers some of the big questions from the film. Why do monkey’s have wings, why is the Wicked Witch green, who are the Scarecrow and the Tin Man and is the Wicked Witch really……….. wicked?
If you are worried that it won’t match up to the West End production, then don’t. The sets immerse you straight into the magical world of Oz, with intricate detail and something to look at in every direction and the costumes were, as Eliza so eloquently put it, “fantastical”.
Glinda (the Good Witch), played by Helen Wolff, arrives on stage in a bubble and is perfectly cast for this role, with her bubbling enthusiasm and comedic timing. Elphaba (the Wicked Witch), played by Amy Ross is her ideal opposite; sweet, well-meaning and misunderstood and the unlikely duo soon become the best of friends, after a bit of a rocky start.
The pair have very different voices but each suit their characters perfectly and when they perform their duets, it really does give you goosebumps. The highlight of the show for me was Glinda singing Popular and of course, Elphaba’s soaring rendition of Defying Gravity.
I really must give a shout out to the whole cast though, as they make the stars shine even brighter. Iddon Jones brought the loveable Boq to life, who is filled with unrequited love for Glinda, Fiyero (Aaron Sidwell ) relished his role as the charming prince, The Wizard, Dr Dillamond (Steven Pinder) and the dastardly Madame Morrible (Kim Ismay) are excellently played and delivered with gusto.
Wicked for me, is the perfect introduction to musicals for all the family and Eliza (7) sat transfixed throughout, although it can be quite dark in places which is worth bearing in mind if you want to take little ones, but there is plenty of humour too. Check out this review of Wicked by Laura from Max and Mummy who also took her young son.
If you are planning on going to see the show, be aware that there are extensive roadworks on the way to the theatre, so please make sure you leave in plenty of time. It normally takes us 45 minutes from Bournemouth, but took over 90 minutes to get there at the weekend.