Friday, 10 September 2010


One of our regular theatrical outings is to the musical Wicked at the Apollo Victoria. Loosely based on the book by Gregory Maguire, it tells the story of the most famous Witches of Oz from their schooldays as friend’s together right up to the events involving Dorothy and the Ruby slippers.

So, off we went to see it again (6 times for me and 4 for Lee). It’s a great show and we never tire of it. The whole production is fantastic and it’s a real crowd-pleaser, having won numerous awards including Best West End Show, Best Musical of the Decade and the audience award for Most Popular Show.

This time around there’d been quite a few principal cast changes and, I have to say, it was a vast improvement in some cases. We had seen Oliver Tompsett in the role of Fiyero a few times and he just never seemed right for the part. However, Lee Mead has now taken over and he fits in extremely well (Denise Van Outen is a lucky girl !). Rachel Tucker as Elphaba and (the understudy) Sarah Earnshaw as Glinda were also both excellent. We’ve seen Sarah Earnshaw in the role a couple of times and I, personally, think she is definitely best suited for the role. Her rendition of ‘Popular’ is always hilarious.

The big show stopper of the Wicked is Defying Gravity, a song now made popular through being showcased in the hit TV show Glee. A really great end to the first act and certainly supplies the ‘wow‘ factor. (Incidentally both the original leads from Wicked - Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenowith - have ongoing roles in Glee).

Defying Gravity - Kristin Chenowith, Idina Menzel and the Broadway cast of Wicked

Undoubtedly we will be seeing it again in the near future. We just have to bide our time until the next captioned performances by Stagetext (well done again guys). I have to give big pat on the back to the Apollo Victoria and the Producers of the show. It is, by far, the most accessible show in the West End, providing regular captioned, signed and audio described performances. Bravo to them.

It’s such a shame that other venues cannot lead by their example. Certain long running West End shows have never been captioned and others just don’t appear to be bothered (Chicago at the Cambridge Theatre hasn’t done a captioned performance for over 2 years). I guess they just think they can afford to alienate potential audiences while they’re still raking the money in.
Very poor really when you have a show such as Hair with an extremely limited run (about 6 months) yet they ensured that the show was given full audience access.

Anyway, I digress. If you want a good, fun show for all the family with lots of magic, glitz and glamour, along with some great songs, then go and see Wicked – you won’t be disappointed.

You never know, we might even see you there.

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(Photos and videos © of the respective owners of the material)

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