Music &Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz
Book: Winnie Holzman
Director: Joe Mantello
Reviewer: Megan Pearce
Wicked has been running in the West End since 2006 with phenomenal success. Finally, the show is touring all over the UK and is definitely not one to miss.
Everyone is familiar with the family classic, The Wizard of Oz – a story of a girl from Kansas in a strange new world, full of wicked witches, wizards and scarecrows. Wicked is an adaptation of Gregory Maguire’s 1995 book, which re-tells the story from the Wicked Witch of the West’s perspective. The plot is thought provoking, clever and a definite nod to the original tale. Wicked does not shy away from and even tackles issues to do with racism and disabilities.
The whole show is a feast for the eyes and ears. The songs written by Stephen Schwartz, will get stuck in your head and make you want to sing on a broomstick, which by definition makes it a fantastic musical.
The cast are faultless. Nikki Davis-Jones plays the very green Elphaba and Emily Tierney plays popular Glinda. The voices of the two witches blend so sweetly. Their angsty and turbulent relationship must speak volumes to most audience members. Watching them grow with their characters throughout the time span of the musical is a treat.
Liam Doyle plays the dreamy love interest, Fiyero. Doyle is no stranger to being the leading male, and it shows. With previous credits including the leads in Hairspray and High School Musical, he manages to command the stage and leaves at least half of the audience swooning after him.
Any aspiring actor would be jealous of the relatively small cast’s costume opportunities. It seems every song there is a new outfit to gawk at. The set is full of cogs, clocks and steampunk-esque items, which really add to the atmosphere of the piece. However, whenever there is a big powerful number the stage becomes quite bare in order not to detract from the incredible voices – a brave and wise choice.
Davis-Jones’ rendition of the iconic ‘Defying Gravity’ is utterly powerful. She is raised up in the climax of the song, creating an altogether perfect audio-visual treat.
It is extremely difficult to find fault with Wicked. It is unbelievably flawless and well-rehearsed. As timeless as The Wizard of Oz is, Wicked is sure to follow in its footsteps and remain on stage for many years to come.
Photo byMatt Crockett | Runs until Saturday 26th April 2014