Adele, Dave, Hamish and Molly are visiting Scotland at the moment. About six months ago, Adele booked four tickets to see Wicked in London. It is Molly’s favourite show. I found out today she has now seen it four times! Molly is nine.
Anyway, I have had the Broadway soundtrack for yonks and really love the songs so I was looking forward to it a lot. And boy did it live up to expectations! I know mum is going to see it so I’ll not spoil it by saying too much, so fear not! You can read on, mum.
The story revolves around the Wicked Witch of the West from OZ (Elphaba) and how she became wicked. It features Glinda the Good and her relationship with Elphaba. I guess it’s basically a prequel to OZ though the two stories merge during act 2 as we see why a lot of things happened the way they did in the original story.
I thought it was masterfully done. Nothing is left out. It is wonderful. However, what was even more wonderful were the two leading ladies. Louise Dearman (Glinda) and Rachel Tucker (Elphaba) were fantastic. Wonderful voices, great acting, all round brilliant. Couldn’t fault either of them. It was a matinee as well but they still gave their all. According to Adele, in the Australian production the cast put on American accents but here in London they all sound home grown. I have no idea why they would do that in Australia. I mean to say, OZ isn’t in America. They could just as easily have Australian accents as not. A bit weird. Of course there is an outside chance that the Australian cast are actually American but that does seem a bit unlikely. But back to the London production.
The male love interest, Fiyero, was a bit of a disappointment. Several years ago there was a show on the BBC whereby a group of people vied for the role of Joseph in Joseph and His Amazing Technocolour Dreamcoat. The winner was a guy called Lee Mead. I didn’t watch the show but have seen photos and ads for the musical and thought he looked perfect for Joseph. I assume he could sing the part as well because he performed it on the West End for quite some time. In Wicked, Lee Mead played Fiyero.
I thought he struggled with the low notes, losing some of his words and he wasn’t insincere enough when we first meet him. He has a Joseph niceness about him that doesn’t really work for the part of Fiyero. A pity but, given the show is primarily for the two leading ladies, this can be overlooked.
After the two leading ladies, the chorus was next best. They had enormous energy on stage and it didn’t let up at all. Even the flying monkeys! Just what you want in a big musical. And then, of course, there was the score. Wonderful.
The theatre was completely sold out and the audience absolutely loved it. I had one of those moments I always have when I’m dragged off to see a musical – I love it totally and wonder why I don’t go to more.
The only dampener on the whole thing was the typical London weather. We left the theatre and it was raining. But I can live with that, even if the Wicked Witch of the West can’t.