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Wicked tells the story of Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West and her relationship with Glinda, the Good Witch of the North

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      28.05.2013 21:08
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      must see musical

      I went to see Wicked for my Birthday last year and it has been my favorite musical ever since. I only decided I wanted to go after hearing four of the songs on the 'You Can't Stop the Beat' CD which has music from all musicals, stage and screen. I particularly liked 'Popular' and 'Defying Gravity' and was intrigued to know what the show was about, though to be honest, i'd already decided I wanted to see it just from the songs.

      Wicked is based on a novel by Gregory Maguire and was written in 1995. I have never read this book but I may consider reading it one day.

      Wicked is about two students who meet at Shiz University and a surprising friendship. The girls are called Glinda and Elphaba. Glinda is the popular student, she has a bubbly and excitable personality and is typically blonde whilst Elphaba is misunderstood and bullied because of her different skin colour (which is green). They are known as Glinda the Good Witch and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West.

      The musical starts at the end, if that makes sense, and Glinda (the good witch) makes an announcement that the Wicked Witch of the West is finally dead. What they have been waiting for all these years but she surprises the crowds by accidently mentioning there friendship.

      The story then goes back to the start of the friendship at Shiz University. Elphaba joins Shiz to take care of her sister Nessarose who is a wheelchair user. She reluctantly ends up sharing a room Glinda, her worst nightmare. During the song 'What is This Feeling' both Glinda and Elphaba express their loathing for each other through letters to their families.

      Whilst at class Elphaba learns that all the animals are losing the power to speak and she decides the Wizard is the only one who can help. Glinda and the rest of the class attend a party at the Ozdust Ballroom and a friendship starts to emerge between Elphaba and Glinda.

      After the pair got to know each other better Glinda offers Elphaba a makeover to make her 'Popular' and they then begin there journey to the Emerald City where they hope to find the Wizard of Oz.

      The musical has 19 songs throughout. I love most of these songs but the best ones in my opinion are 'The Wizard and I', 'Popular', 'For Good', 'As Long as Your Mine', 'One Short Day' and the best 'Defying Gravity'. The songs are a mixture of upbeat songs and slower songs but all of them are sang amazingly by the cast.

      The stage has fantastic backgrounds, a lot of which are very green. At the start there is a huge clocks face which looks great and then some outdoor scenes where Dorothy's house crashed. In the Emerald City everything but Elphaba and Glinda is green.

      The costumes look brilliant and really help to tell the story. Glinda's blue dress looks beautiful as all the Swarovski crystals sparkle in the spotlight whilst Elphabas costume during 'Defying Gravity' flows perfectly and adds to the power of the song.

      Wicked is currently showing in London's Apollo Victoria Theatre and will be touring around the UK from November (starting in Manchester). The show has been open since 2006 (UK) and has been seen by over five million people in the West End alone. It has won many awards and I hope it will continue to be shown for years to come.

      I think this is by far the best musical I have seen and I am desperate to go and see it again. This is a must see for everyone.

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        24.04.2013 16:41
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        Absolutely fantabulastic

        Recently my partner and i went to London for his birthday to see the amazing play Wicked at it's home of the Apollo Victoria theatre. Having both read the book and owned the soundtrack for quite a few years this was definitely a major treat for both of us. Even though the musical wasn't as much like the book as i'd have liked, and the songs were a lot more British than the soundtrack would imply, it was still an absolutely mind blowing experience that i would highly recommend to anyone.

        What with it being a subversion of the classic, The Wizard of Oz, anyone who's read my previous reviews will know that this kind of thing would most definitely appeal to me. Especially the musical is a subversion of the subversion, as most musicals are.

        Our particular showing started at 7.30pm but we did want to do the touristy stuff as well, so we got off at Euston, took the underground to Victoria station to go book into our hotel, only to find that the Apollo Victoria was right on Victoria station's doorstep. Our hotel was on Hugh Road, named Holly house Hotel. Which was also literally round the corner from the Apollo Victoria. Unfortunately the position and price (£65 for a double room for 1 night) of our hotel was the only real good thing about it, but as we were only staying for the one night it was sufficient enough for our needs.

        After booking into the hotel we hopped on the bus and did our touristy bit. One thing i will recommend about London is that if you really want to see London don't bother with the tourist busses. Ordinary busses will do and they make you look like you're a proper Londoner rather than a tourist. Another recommendation is to get a day/ week travel card dependant on how long your stay is, travel cards will allow you to use the underground and busses between certain zones of London as many times as you like and don't half make life easier. For a travel card in zones 1-6 (pretty much the entirety of central London plus some) is £7.90 (at last check), though an interesting discovery is that railcard discounts count for these particular travel cards, thus, what with owning a 16-25 railcard, my travel card only cost £5.90.

        So after a busy day wandering around Hyde Park, Trafalgar Square, Liecester Square, Chinatown and Covent Garden, we went back to the hotel with cheeky bottle of vino and got ready for the show. We arrived at the theatre for about 6.45pm where we sorted out our tickets (which were bought online and cost £90 for two of us). Walking in to the theatre your immediately put in the 'Wicked' mood by being engulfed in green. Green carpets, green lights, green writing on the signs, practically anything that could be green was.

        We went up to wait in the bar as they disn't open the doors to the theatre until 7pm. I wouldn't recommend buying a drink there if you're low on funds however, they do these special themed cocktails that are £8 a piece, whixh i suppose is marginally understandable, it being themed and everything, but 175ml of cheap rose wine at a fiver is rather extortionate in my eyes, along with £3 for a 45g tub of Pringles. Needless to say, my partner and i waited until after we had left the theatre to get a drink.

        When we were let into the actual theatre, we were in seats P13 and P14, which is the front row of the third tier back from the stage (i can't remember the proper name for it). At first we thought this was brill, but soon found people walking in front of us or even people's heads in the back row of the tier in front blocked outviee of the stage in places. But, it wasn't as bad as say sitting in the rows behind us where you had to have spy glasses to see what was going on. For the price i'd say we got a pretty good deal.

        When we had found our seats, we got a proper look at the stage and had our breath taken away. A proper model of the Clock of the Time Dragon hung above the stage and looked absolutely magnificent, and the screen/ curtain at the start was a map of Oz taken from the book with a green beam pounted at the centre to represent the Emerald City. If we weren't in the Wicked mood already we certainly were now.

        Of course, i knew the musical was going to be didferent from the book due to the contrast between the soundtrack and the book. However, I wasn't prepared for how much they had changed it, nor how well the subversion would be peesented. We were definitely in the best spot for sound quality, we could hear every voice very clearly and each song i found myself singing along to and being happy i could finally put images in my head to go along with the songs i'd been listening to for years. (much to the annoyance of the chinese couple sitting next to us... I don't think i'll sing along to musicals in the future).

        Wicked the musical is based on the story 'Wicked' by Gregory Maguire, which in turn is based on the classic, The Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum. It follows the story of Elphaba (AKA the Wicked Witch of the West) how she came to be green, her upbringing and family issues. It also follows the story of Galinda (later Glinda, also known as The Good Witch of the North) and how she came to be the good witch of the North.

        Contrary to the book, which really makes you feel sympathy towards Elphaba throughout and doesn't really focus as much on Glinda, the musical focusses more so on the friendship of Glinda and Elphaba and twists a few of the other elements of the book, eg, the Fiyero complex, the Boq and Nessa issue etc etc. The result is definitely a story that's more suitable for family viewing and gives a heartwarming feel to it's audience at the end. For the purposes of the musical this works, though for those who have already read the book you can't help but criticise the changes they've made and compare and contrast the various changes to what would have worked better for the play and what would have worked better for the musical.

        However, as a musical, on the whole it was fantastic. I especially liked the fact that there wasn't too much going on onstage so the you could gather what was going on from even as far back as we were, but there was always enough going on the keep you entertained. There was also enough context between the songs that definitely allowed depth to the story for both adults and children. Beautifully put together, the musical flowed nicely and was amazing throughout. Defying Gravity, Loathing and No Good Deed always being my favourites from the soundtrack were performed amazingly and really left a mark in my memory.

        It was definitely an experience to remember and i would highly recommend it to anyone.

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          17.04.2013 22:22
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          Find out the real reason that the green wicked witch got a reputation as Wicked!

          Wicked is an amazing musical full of wit, sorrow, intrigue and amazing songs. Based at the Apollo theatre in Victoria in London it is easy to access. There are many hotels near by including the Premier Inn. Buses and taxis are of the plenty.

          When Dorothy faced the Wicked Witch, we only ever heard one side of the story. Wicked tells the story of the friendship between Elphaba ( so called wicked witch) and Glinda the good witch. The love story of Elphaba and the scrummy Boq. This is not a copy of Wizard of Oz it has elements that are seen in the Wizard of Oz for example you find out how the lion became a coward. You don't have Dorothy dancing about although she does play a small very funny part! I really want to tell you more but I don't want to ruin it for you.

          Wicked is based on Gregory Maguire's 1995 novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. With amazing music composed by Stephen Schwartz. The talented singers and musicians of the orchestra are breathtaking. My husband who is not a fan of the theatre was blown away by the musical.

          The songs include
          No one mourns the wicked,
          Popular
          Defying Gravity( this was performed on the Royal Variety Show years ago- Elphaba flies!)


          The set is stunning from the curtain with the map of Oz on it to the netting that actors dressed as monkeys climb on. Every time I have been I have noticed new things. Above the stage there is a giant dragon which moves during the show. When choosing your seats make sure you are not right at the front as you really want to be further back to see the whole stage.

          The apollo theatre has good size seats that are comfy even when I was 8 months pregnant I had space! If disabled it would be best to phone he theatre access line to check for access details and assistance available.Tickets range from £20 to £75. We have bought tickets from a discount booth before which were very good seats but at a cheap price. In the lobby of the theatre you can buy the usual snacks and drinks but they are very expensive. They have some lovely souvenirs I even have a Wicked baby-grow for my little one !

          Wicked is going on tour in 2014 visiting
          Dublin
          Manchester
          Milton Keynes
          Cardiff
          Glasgow
          Leeds
          Birmingham

          I have my fingers crossed that it will come to the South. For now I will just have to stick with my cd.


          Wicked won the 2010 Olivier Award for Most Popular Show and has had 5 million visitors so it is not just me who loves it. It will appeal to young, old, male and female. You do not need to be an Oz fan. I would say that this is not a children's show. This is a story bout witches and some dark moments which could cause little ones to have nightmares.

          If you are in London you will not regret seeing this Wicked show!

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            17.12.2012 02:26
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            I would go to see this show again

            TIME TO BE WICKED

            I love a good musical and have seen now seen several. I can't see myself enjoying any as much and certainly not more than my favourite "Les Miserables" but, if they are HALF as good then that means, for me, they are worth watching.

            I had been meaning to go and see 'Wicked' for ages but hadn't got around to it until this October. My teenage daughter has seen it a few times and knows all the songs. As she is studying musical theatre and practices her singing on myself and her dad, we are also familiar with the songs from this musical. My husband and I both like "For Good" best and as our daughter has sung this on momentous occasions (for her and us) it's very special for us. Now, hearing this song can bring a tear or two to our eyes. Knowing something of the musical score is a great help for us when choosing a musical to visit.

            My daughter has seen a few different casts in this show including Kerry Ellis as Elphaba, but she told me that Rachael Tucker was brilliant and so was Gina Beck, as Galinda). I knew a cast change was imminent but hoped we might manage to see these two witches together before one of them left the show.

            My husband and I chose to go to see a Saturday matinee performance of this show and treat our daughter to a ticket, and meet her at the theatre. It isn't easy to arrange a mutually convenient time as she has rehearsals and performances often.

            A WICKED PLACE

            Wicked the Musical is showing at The Apollo Victoria. We had a bit of a journey as some of the central line underground line wasn't operating due to maintenance and other lines had a restricted service also, but we managed to get there with time to spare. We had to change lines but when exiting Victoria underground station the theatre can be clearly seen opposite. Building work is taking place in this area but this didn't cause a problem, just spoiled the view a little in respect of taking photos around the theatre.

            BOOKING

            I booked (only a few days before our chosen date) directly by telephone with the theatre. The assistant in the box office was helpful. As this was near to time we wanted to go I wasn't sure if we would get good seats. I usually prefer the stalls but my daughter assured me that with this particular show it didn't matter too much if one wasn't close up as the show is a spectacle with great scenery and all of the stage being used. I was told that three seats were available in the circle just a few rows back. I enquired as to whether these seats were any good and he said that he'd sat there himself and thought the view was good. The seats cost over sixty pounds each (I save reviewing proceeds for this purpose and then I don't feel guilty about spending so much) and I paid by debit card.

            OUR SEATS

            I was pleased with our seats. We were fairly central and there was an empty seat next to me so I didn't feel at all hemmed in. The rake of the seats, I felt, was good, and we all had a good view of the stage. Theatre glasses were available for hire (I can't remember if they were fifty pence or one pound) but I didn't use these as find them a little annoying.

            We weren't far away from the toilets but of course the usual queuing was involved.

            WHY THE WITCH BECAME WICKED

            Wicked the Musical tells (its own take) how The wicked witch of the west (infamous through L. Frank Baum's book, 'The Wizard of Oz) actually became a 'WICKED' witch, and tells the story of her life. Based on 'Wicked-the untold story of the witches of Oz' from the novel by Gregory Maguire, we see how she was a good 'person' but was, from birth, unloved and misunderstood, and also often avoided due to her green coloured skin. Elphaba was certainly not 'popular', at least not until taken in hand by the good witch Galinda/Glinda. There are links to The Wizard of Oz, although these are loosely based. I haven't yet read the book Wicked (although it's here in my home) but have heard it is much deeper than the musical version. This I can in believe though when seeing in the show the mistreatment of Professor Dillamond, Elphaba's teacher and friend. I imagine there could be more to tell here, in literary form.

            Circumstances led to Elphaba seeming to become 'wicked' but I must say I empathised with her, along with the whole theatre's audience, I believe, but you would have to see the show to understand that she wasn't really wicked at all.

            I loved the scenery, and the show is indeed a spectacular. I also adored the colourful and fantastic costumes, especially those of the glamorous good witch Glinda.

            The flying monkeys are also worth a mention and great to see.

            WICKEDLY GOOD CAST

            I had heard, before going to see the show that Matt Willis of 'Busted' fame as Fiyero, the male lead, wasn't great but, as far as I was concerned, he played his part well enough. I would say this was a very good cast in terms of any musical, although this being the first time I've seen the show I can't compare to other casts of 'Wicked.' My daughter has now seen this cast twice and other casts and says this was overall the best cast she had seen.

            This was the last day for Rachael Tucker to star in Wicked. Rachael Tucker was heavily pregnant but still gave an energetic performance. As this was the last day of shows (matinee and evening performance) for most of the cast there were strange things happening and 'muck ups' My daughter explained why some of the things said were funny as this wouldn't be patently obvious for first timers of the show. We were told they had been told to tone it down for this reason. I thought the sense of mischief added even more to the atmosphere.

            This was the cast that we saw:

            Rachael Tucker Elphaba (green witch)
            Gina Beck Galinda ( Blonde witch!)
            Matt Willis Fiyero
            Julie Legrand Madame Morrible
            Keith Bartlett The Wizard of Oz
            Lillie Flynn Nessarose
            Christopher Howell Doctor Dillamond
            Adam Pettigrew Boq

            I had to agree with my daughter that these two actresses (Rachael Tucker and Gina Beck) did a brilliant job throughout the show, both with their acting and brilliant vocals. I was so pleased we had seen them both star together in these roles.

            The songs I liked best were:

            'For Good' which is a witches duet

            'Popular' as, although this isn't a favourite song of mine, I felt that Gina Beck's rendition was superb.

            'What is this feeling' sung by Glinda, Elphaba and students of the school.

            'As Long as you're mine' Elphaba and Fiyero

            'I'm not that girl' Elphaba

            DELICIOUSLY WICKED

            I was pleasantly surprised by just how much I enjoyed this show and so did my husband. All songs in the context of the show were superb and vocals were great.

            As this was the last show for many of the cast, including the two female leads, there was an air of fun and of this being an extra special performance.

            It's a good plot and quite clever, I thought, with a tale to tell of discrimination and prejudice. Wicked has its sad moments and drama aplenty but interspersed with this is a great deal of humour.

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              04.12.2011 16:52
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              A magical musical!

              When I first went to see this show I wasn't looking forward to it at all, and wished I was going to see something else. For some reason I was determined to hate it, but I just couldn't. It was simply breath taking! To date, despite seeing most west end shows for the past 10 years, it is my favourite of all time and will probably keep that top spot for many years to come.
              When you first walk into the theatre the staging hits you - cogs everywhere and of course the dragon above the proscenium arch that fully functions. The set throughout is nothing short of amazing.
              From the opening song I knew the show was going to be special - it took my breath away from the very beginning and this has got to be Stephen Schwartz (the composer) at his best. The soundtrack is enough to make you fall in love with the show itself!
              The story is similiar to that of the Wizard of Oz but with a very different twist which you won't have heard before. I thought that it would basically be the same and that was why I wasn't looking forward to it, but my god, this is so much better.
              Having seen it 4 times with both the principal cast and understudies I must say they never seem to disappoint. Each time the entire cast have blown me away.
              There isn't much I can say about this show except that you should just go and see it, NOW. Don't hold back - Wicked is a truly magical experience and is exactly what the theatre industry is about. A must see.

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                31.05.2011 17:51
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                A brilliant performance by a very talented cast!

                Two weekends ago I went to see this amazingly fabulous musical and have been unable to get it out of my head ever since. Subseuqently I decided that this review might be both informative for you and also alleviate my Wicked obsession so I can go on with life!

                The musical is based on a novel written by Gregory Maguire, not surprisingly entitled 'Wicked'. It basically tells the story of of the Wizard of Oz from a different angle, in fact Dorothy doesn't really feature at all! It instead reverts back to the time period leading up to Dorothy's entrance into Oz, particularly explaining the time the Glinda the good witch and the Wicked witch of the west spent at school together! It intertwines so beautifully with the orginal story and features the lion, scarecrow and tin man, even including some of their backstories. I won't give any spoilers but it defintely made me look at the classic story in a very different light!

                As of the 7th of February 2011, the stars of Wicked are as follows:

                Rachel Tucker- Elphaba
                Louise Dearman- Glinda
                Mark Evans Fiyero
                Clive Carter- The Wizard

                A full list of the cast can be found on www.wickedthemusical.co.uk

                The performances given by this cast are truly breathtaking! The two main leads, Rachel and Louise act their roles amazing and gel really well together in the scenes they interact in. The vocals in this musical are astounding, they truly embody the classic west end voice to me, the stlyes are brilliant and give real carriage of emotion to the songs. My two favourite songs are 'Defying Gravity' and 'No Good Deed', both songs can be found on youtube if you want a flavour of the music, however they are the Broadway recordings not the UK versions.

                The orchestra gives such a great performance also and the music for this show is very well fitted to convey the feeling in each and every scene. The music is also used to give great transition from scenes and makes the show easy to follow. The set for this show is well laid out and is interesting to look at, yet it is not so prominant that it takes focus from the actors which is good as you don't find your gaze divided!

                This is currently showing at the London Apollo Victoria, which is a conviniently located theatre situated opposite Victoria Station. The show lasts 2 hours 45 minutes including a 15 minute intermission. Tickets are very affordable, I bought mine for £16.50 including booking fee from lastminute.com, although you don't get to choose seats through lastminute I would say there generally aren't any bad seats at this theatre, there are no inconviniently located pillars! Some of the seats are further away from the stage however this personally didn't bother me. In fact I went to a matinee and there were several seats not occupied so you would probably have the option to move in the matinee performances.

                In terms of being family friendly I would say this show is family friendly, however there are some very loud scenes and even I was startled by some of the surprising louder moments, so defintely make sure you are ready to have younger ones sit on your lap at points if they find it too loud!

                This is deinfitely a must see on the West end in my opinion. I thas won the 2010 Laurence Olivier Award for 'Most Popular Show', the Whatsonstage.com Award for 'Best West End Show' and the BroadwayWorld.com UK Award for 'Best Long-Running West End Show', Wicked has played over 1750 performances and grossed in excess of £118 million at the UK Box Office since its West End premiere in 2006, so I think those statistics speak for themselves!

                Also posted on ciao.

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                  09.05.2011 16:32
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                  The real story about the witches of Oz in one amazing musical

                  For a long time I have dreamt of seeing Wicked The Musical. It is long past the point where I could have seen it with the original Broadway cast (not just because that cast has finished but also because I have never yet made it to New York), but I was happy with the next best thing, seeing it in the west end.

                  I live in Scotland so it's a long way to the west end, a bit too long a journey to make just to see a show. So, my girlfriend and I made a week of it. We booked tickets way in advance for my next birthday. We went down a few days before, stayed at my mums and on the day of the show travelled to London by train. The journey was nothing special but it was made more exciting by the growing anticipation. We got the London, found the theatre, got something to eat and wondered around, and then we went for a cup of coffee before heading in.

                  Once at the theatre the anticipation continued to grow. We have both longed to see this show for a very long time. The anticipation was mixed with nerves, what if it wasn't as good as we thought it would be? What if the cast weren't quite right for the roles they'd been awarded? What if the props or the stage left us feeling disappointed? There were lots of ifs, but somewhere inside I knew it would all be fine. It had to be, I had looked forward to it for too long to be disappointed.

                  As it turned out, I was right; the show was amazing, as were the cast and the sets. Our seats were perfect front row of the balcony, centre stage. We could see the whole stage without straining and our view was not obscured by anyone sitting in front of us (I am quite short so have had that problem a lot).

                  Once in our seats the excitement continued to grow, we were finally here, finally going to see the show. We bought a program and read through while we were waiting for it to start. The principle characters at the time were being played by Rachel Tucker (Elphaba) and Louise Dearman (Glinda) - although for this specific performance Elphaba was being played by Nikki Davis-Jones. We read about the previous experience they all had and speculated on how good they would be.

                  At this point I would just like to explain that my girlfriend and I had different reasons for wanting to see the show and therefore different expectations. I own, have read and love to original novel by Gregory Maguire. My girlfriend knew more about the The musical through her friend that works in the theatre industry. We had both heard the soundtrack.

                  While waiting for the show to start we also took in every detail of the set, it was perfect, the great Time Dragon over head the towers at the side, i was getting more excited by the minute and couldn't wait for it to start...and then it did.

                  I do not want to give any spoilers here so I'm not going to go into too much detail. It was fantastic! Despite us both having different expectations, we both have the same opinion. I will say that if you have read the book, be prepared for some confusion as the musical does not follow the exact same story line, in fact parts of it are completely different. This was not a disappointment, in fact in some ways it was better, I didn't always know what was coming next. My girlfriend who had heard lots about the original Broadway cast had been worried that seeing it in London wouldn't live up to it. She too was not disappointed.

                  We both agree that it could not have been done better. The sets and props were well done, the costumes beautiful and cast very very talented. It was funny, it was sad, it was dramatic, and what else can you ask for in a musical. All the songs were done faultlessly and the cast seemed to have real chemistry with each other. I guess that comes from performing together regularly but it's an important thing.

                  At the intermission we couldn't help but talk excitedly about what we'd seen and what was still to come. The second act was just as good as the 1st and even more exciting from my point of view as there were more difference from the novel. Then it came to an end. It was finished. It was time to go home.

                  We left the theatre and went back to the station; we had a bit of time before we got our train so we went and got a cup of tea. All we could talk about was the show, how great it had been, how neither of us had been disappointed or felt let down. The best part of the whole show is the climax of the first act, Elphaba and Glinda singing Defying Gravity, it our favourite song from the soundtrack and it was done really well. The lighting, the performers the musical score - all were perfect.

                  In conclusion, this is an amazing show, no matter your reasons for wanting to see it, no matter your expectations, it is impossible to be disappointed by it. I would definitely go and see it again next time I'm down South, or if it ever comes to Scotland. It's worth both the cost of the tickets and traveling we did to get there.

                  This review can also be found on Ciao.

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                    26.10.2010 17:15
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                    Who can say if I've been changed for the better? Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.

                    As you can probably tell from my user name, I'm a Wicked fanatic but I will try my hardest to give an unbiased view of the show! Since my first visit back in 2007 I have been back 10 times and seen a number of actors in the lead roles.

                    Wicked! The untold story of the witches of Oz
                    Wicked is based on the Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, and serves as a prequel to The Wizard of Oz which is a story everyone knows. However, instead of focussing on Dorothy and her visit to Oz, Wicked is a story of friendship between Elphaba (who later becomes known as the Wicked Witch of the West) and Galinda (later, Glinda the Good). It tells the story through a flashback from how they become friends, through their struggle through loving the same man and their different reactions to the Wizard's corruption of Oz, to Elphaba's ultimate fall from grace.

                    The girls start as new students who are forced to share a room at Shiz University. As complete opposites they initially 'loathe' each other. Elphaba is studious, a talented sorcerer and green, where Galinda is popular and 'blonde' (Elphie's words not mine!). Elphaba is worried about how Oz is changing - animals are losing their voices and starting to be kept in cages, while Galinda just cares about her new boyfriend Fiyero. Over time they become friends after Galinda helps Elphie's sister find a date and gives Elphie herself a make-over (the hilarious song, 'Popular'!). After realising Elphaba's powers of sorcery, the girls are summoned to an audience with the Wizard of Oz in the Emerald City where they realise that all is not what it seemed...

                    The cast
                    Rachel Tucker (of Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'I'd do Anything' fame) and Louise Dearman are currently playing the lead roles of Elphaba and Glinda. Rachel is a great actress who is thoroughly believable in the role, and Louise has a fantastic voice and great comic timing which is perfect for Glinda. However, for me, no-one can come close to Kerry Ellis as Elphaba. Her voice is just perfection, especially her powerful rendition of Defying Gravity. Lee Mead is the current Fiyero which I believe has given Wicked a legion of new fans! He is excellent in the role and shows off his singing and dancing skills in Dancing Through Life. Cassie Compton of early Pop Idol fame plays Nessa Rose (Elphaba's wheelchair-bound sister).

                    The songs
                    The Wicked soundtrack has become more popular since the Glee version of Defying Gravity, which is a real showstopper and probably the highlight of the show at the end of the first half.

                    1. No One Mourns the Wicked
                    2. Dear Old Shiz
                    3. Wizard and I, The
                    4. What Is This Feeling?
                    5. Something Bad
                    6. Dancing Through Life
                    7. Popular
                    8. I'm Not That Girl
                    9. One Short Day
                    10. A Sentimental Man
                    11. Defying Gravity
                    12. Thank Goodness
                    13. Wonderful
                    14. I'm Not That Girl (Reprise)
                    15. As Long as You're Mine
                    16. No Good Deed
                    17. March of the Witch Hunters
                    18. For Good
                    19. Finale

                    Why is it so good?
                    Now in it's fifth year, Wicked has captured the imagination of many a theatre-goer and some fans have seen it up to 50 times! It takes a well-known tale and tells the audience the story from another point of view giving a twist to the classic The Wizard of Oz. The cast, the songs, the fun factor all contribute to make it one of the most popular shows in London but I think at the end of the day it comes down to the main story. It's essentially a tale of friendship and feeling as though you don't fit in. Who can't relate to that at some point in their life?

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                      19.10.2010 01:50
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                      Nobody mourns the wicked

                      I wanted to see what all the rave was about with this show.
                      When you hear it's title 'Wicked' it doesn't really sound very exciting does it, but trust me it is, it's my most favourite theatre show I have ever seen.

                      The first time I saw it I got goose pimples on my arms with just hearing the performers sing.
                      I have seen wicked twice already and I'm hoping to see it for the third time before the year is out.

                      If you haven't seen it then I suggest you do because your missing out on such a amazing performance that will just make you love the theatre even more.

                      The singing voices of the performers was just fantastic you can not fault them, they have such power in their singing that you can tell they enjoy what there doing.

                      The story is about a witch called Elphaba who is different to others, she was born with green skin.
                      With her father and sister ashamed of her looks she already feels like it's her against the world.
                      As Elphaba and her sister Nessarose starts at a new school she has more problems her way as she bumps into a girl that ends up being her room mate by the name of Galinda, the two take an instance dislike to each other.
                      During a moment of anger, Elphaba reveals a secret that will change everything for her, she reveals a magical talent that will make everyone love her.

                      After Elphaba is embarrassed by Galinda at a ball, Galinda feels sorry for her and apologises where the two become close friends.
                      But with both of them in love with the same man (Fiyero) will this friendship last especially after Galinda and Elphaba are invited to meet the Wizard.

                      When Elphaba finds out what the wizard wants from her she gets angry and swears revenge to help OZ and its people with her magic, but with nobody trusting her and everybody out to get her it's going to be a difficult thing to do.

                      Finding help from an unexpected person and falling in love will Elphaba finally get what she wants or is it the end for the wicked witch of the west.

                      Nobody mourns the Wicked.

                      With some fantastic songs and my personal favourite being 'Defying Gravity' that just makes you want to sing it at the top of your lungs, you will not regret going to see it.
                      I love everything about Wicked from the songs, the costumes, Glinda's outfits were amazing to Elphaba's make-up, i was surprised that with all the heat that her make-up just never ran or even lost it's colour.

                      It's quite easy to get to the Apollo Victoria Theatre as it's right outside Victoria Station (you can't miss the Wicked sign) that has plenty of buses running to and from main London.
                      If your going on the underground the Victoria, Circle and District line will take you straight into Victoria Station and just by the main entrance.

                      You can get the tickets cheap over the internet if you shop around or if you go to the ticket box offices that are situated in Leicester Square but expect to pay between £40 to £60 for the best seats in the stalls.
                      If anyone can find cheaper then please let me know it would be much appreciated.

                      There are also plenty of eating places round the theatre, so your be spoilt for choice.
                      If you like pizza then I would suggest visiting this all you can eat pizza and salad bar in Victoria Station itself.
                      If you heard as if your going towards the coach station (follow the signs) it's up some escalators.

                      I would recommend Wicked for anybody even the men, they may say they didn't enjoy it but secretly they probably did.
                      Wicked will leave you feeling happy at the end with a few tears added but wanting to go back for more.

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                      26.07.2010 22:38
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                      Go watch it!

                      As a child, and even now to be honest, I really enjoyed the story 'The Wizard of Oz' and found the film quite charming. The story is based on the novel 'Wicked: The life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West' written by Gregory Maguire and is a prequel to the original story written in 1939 by L. Frank Baum. Apparently he was inspired by the demonisation of Saddam Hussain to write a novel exploring the nature of good and evil. I'd not read the book so wasn't sure what to expect but some of my friends and family had seen it and were seriously impressed by it so a friend and I decided to book some tickets and watched the show last Saturday. The play is running in London at the Apollo theatre, Victoria.

                      The story
                      The play tells the story of Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West and Garlinda the Good Witch of the North. The play starts with a musical number where the residents of Oz are rejoicing in Elphaba's death (Dorothy's just thrown a bucket of water at her - this is one of the few references to the events that occurred in the film). The rest of the play is a flashback to when Elphaba and Garlinda first met, long before Dorothy landed in Oz. Elphaba is the daughter of the governor of Munchkinland but has been rejected by her father as she was born with green skin. They first meet at Shiz University when they are forced to share a dormitory and they take an instant dislike to each other. In a fit of anger Elphaba displays her magical powers and the headmistress believes she has talent that may be useful to the Wizard of Oz and promises to ask for an audience with him.

                      We then get to see everyday life at the university. The rivalry between Elphaba and Garlinda intensifies as they both fall for Fiyero a winkie prince who arrives at Shiz. It comes to a head at the university ball. We are also introduced to some of the staff including Dr Dillamond, a goat and the only animal lecturer at the university. He is however on borrowed time as the authorities are capturing animals and encaging them. Elphaba is his star pupil and he confides his worries in her. The next day however he is captured and taken away. The new professor arrives and brings a caged lion cub for the students to experiment on. Elphaba is enraged, takes the cage and makes a run for it. The headmistress finds her and tells her she has been granted an audience with the great wizard. Despite their rivalry Elphaba decides to invite Garlinda along as well. They soon discover things are not as they seem in Oz. I don't want to give any more away so you'll have to watch the play to find out why.

                      My thoughts

                      As soon as we walked in we were awed by the set -it was amazing! The whole thing looked very dark, eerie, with glowing green lights. There was also this humungous fire breathing dragon that took centre place. Whilst it looked fantastic it's role in the play was minimal and I couldn't really see the relevance of it. There were also flying monkeys which I thought were awesome.

                      I found the story quite simplistic but very engaging. There were many twists and surprises that kept me guessing and shed the whole Wizard of Oz story in a new light. I found myself relating to Elphaba quite sympathetically and I found Garlinda to be really funny with her squeaky voice and ditzy ways! I've seen many West End musicals but they've generally been ones that I knew the songs for. In this case I didn't know any of them except 'Defying Gravity' which has been popularised by the recent series of Glee. This song was performed with such passion that it gave me goosebumps! The way Elphaba 'flew' up and dominated the stage with her flowing robe was excellent. Not knowing the remaining songs didn't detract from my enjoyment though and I was entirely captivated. Songs included:

                      No one mourns the wicked
                      Popular
                      Defying Gravity
                      I'm not that girl
                      The wizard and I
                      As long as you're mine
                      ... to name a few.

                      We hadn't looked at the cast before we went and were pleasantly surprised to discover that Fiyero was played by none other than Lee Mead (winner of Joseph)!

                      We had good seats in the dress circle but they were fairly expensive at £60 each, which was the cheapest we could find despite shopping around. Usually, cheaper tickets are available for shows on the day at the ticket booths in Leicester square, though this does involve the risk of no tickets being available that day and a wasted trip. However we totally loved the show and so consider it money well spent. Recommended!

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                        26.07.2010 21:33
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                        Fantastic story, great setting and unforgettable score

                        I've seen many musicals and this personally is my second favourite of all time (the first being phantom of the opera). The stage works are amazing and the visual effect will leave you thinking for the most part 'how did they do that'.

                        The storyline is very engaging and is a work that i think Frank L Baum would have approved of. Without spoiling anything for you readers this is a tale of how the characters and plot came to be in the move 'the wizard of oz'. Expect may twists and surprises.

                        Everyone knows the key musical moment many thanks to programmes like glee and needless to say you will come out humming 'defying gravity' under your breath along with countless others outside the theatre.

                        The theatre itself is lit with emerald green lighting that befits the art deco interior.

                        This is a must see and i also recommend listening to the soundtrack before hand to familiarise your self with some of the songs. It may give some of the plot line away but will never brace you for what takes place on stage.

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                        14.07.2010 22:06
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                        This is a must see musicl - if you haven't already seen it .... do!

                        From the moment you approach the Theatre with its sparkling entrance and the green glow of the foyer, you already know that the show has begun. Fortunately the magic doesn't seem to end when you leave your seats because the music follows you out, dancing in your ears.

                        As you take to your seat, an enormous mechanical dragon above the stage catches your eye. Then when the lights dim and the show begins, the dragon starts to move and roar, as the emerald green map ascend revealing the magnificent stage. A dramatic entrance is given by the menacing flying monkeys to open the show.

                        Most of the time the stage uses a few main props, and the rest of the stage is in darkness, so the characters are in the spotlight. The stage sets, throughout the whole show are dazzling, enticing and incredibly realistic. At the same time they are subtle enough not to create a distraction from the main story line and the characters. The stage sets paint an imaginative and clear picture of the scene. The scenic designer (Eugene Lee) has created the perfect balance for a theatre show like Wicked, and created a magical theme and atmosphere on the stage.
                        The characters Elphaba -Wicked Witch of the West- and Glinda -Good Witch-have been cast extremely well. Elphaba starts out as the green-skinned, decent-hearted outsider who has wickedness thrown upon her. Despite this only being mere assumed conclusions decided by the people, this is the reputation she is given. Alexia Khadime plays the character perfectly. She gives her the drawn back shyness at first, then as Elphaba becomes overwhelmed by the powers she has, she creates an innocent, accidental wickedness.

                        Her costumes assist the 'Wicked' stamp on Elphaba. The costumes are dark purples and blacks, creating a gloomy feel about her. All of her dresses have a torn affect on them, to create the impression of an evil witch.

                        Glinda, in contrast, is a vain, confident and over ambitious blonde who obtains a 'good' characteristic from her supporters, however Glinda is not quite as pure as you may think. Dianne Pilkington plays a slightly big headed Glinda, with an extremely girly and flouncy way about her. At the same time Dianne avoids creating an annoying character - something past actors cast as Glinda, mislead the character Glinda to be. Towards the end of the musical, Dianne changes her character to a vaguely more mature Glinda, when she becomes the 'Good Witch'.

                        Glinda's costumes are very fairy like, and use subtle colours such as pinks, light blues etc. These colours seem to go with her blonde hair and pale complexion, to paint the perfect Good Witch. Glinda wears delicate tiaras and necklaces, to enhance her purity and elegance. The dresses are patterned with glistening sequins and beads to add to the detail.
                        Throughout the show there are a series of spectacular songs, almost one for every scene. These musical numbers are all equally amazing. The two main actors Alexia and Dianne both have spectacular voices; this really shines through in one of Glinda's main songs 'Popular'. During this song, her vocals are really put to the test, and she manages to sing the song note perfect, whilst also keeping in character. In this song there isn't always backing music, so all ears are on her voice alone. Despite putting her voice directly in the spotlight, Dianne seems to pull it off perfectly.

                        Alexia, just before the interval sings her remarkably amazing song 'Defying Gravity'. This song is probably the hardest and most important musical number in the whole show. The finale of this song - the song is split into two halves- is sung mainly by Alexia, on her own. The way that she sings this difficult, but tremendous song, is truly mind blowing. Her voice fills the whole theatre, and it is the main song that sticks in your head, through to the end of the show. I think that Alexia, suits the role so well, during this performance, because her voice so strong, yet so perfect.

                        In the songs, which are group performances, such as 'Thank Goodness sung by the characters, Glinda, Morrible and the Citizens of Oz, there is still the same level of quality in the performance, as there was from Dianne and Alexia alone. The group musical numbers in the show are usually very dramatic and exciting, and building up to a bigger scene. This makes the show so interesting.

                        The Orchestra are amazing right the way through the show, producing beautiful music that creates and sets the ambience for the song. Stephen Schwartz has created some amazing music and lyrics; with this show you really notice the lyrics. The lyrics are so perfectly moulded to suit the scene, and are easy to follow. As well as this the singers have such clear voices you can actually here each and every word very clearly.

                        Wicked tells the amazing untold story of the the friendship between two girls who first meet as Sorcery Students, at Shiz University : the blonde popular girl, Glinda, and the drawn back 'unnaturally green' girl Elphaba.

                        After meeting The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, their frienship reaces a dilema and the two part ways. Glinda's persisten longing for popularity sees her won over by power as Glinda the Good, while Elphaba's determination to fight to fight for what she believes in leads her into dangerous and unforseen circumstances. Their adventures in Oz in the end watch them both realise the lives that they are destined for, and see them both become almost opposites as Glinda the Good and The Wicked Witch of The West. Wicked asks the question : Do we jsut see what we want to see and not who someone really is?

                        Wicked explores this adventure using humour, happiness and sincerity, wich makes it so astonishing to watch. I think the highlight for me is when Elphaba performs 'Defying Gravity'; this is because Alexia has such an astounding voice, and it almost made me shiver with admiration, and belief. The weak point for me was that the story line is slightly complicated to follow, so it means you have to piece together what is going on. Maybe this is the mystery in it though? Despite this, Wicked is a totally brilliant musical, and I would most definitely reccomend it!

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                        18.06.2010 21:54

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                        The best West End show I've seen yet

                        I was never a huge fan of The Wizard of Oz, I found Dorothy to be too much of a goody two shoes! So when I heard about this musical telling the other side of the story I was immediately interested.

                        Your first experience of Wicked is the wonderfully decorated theatre itself. Everything glows green, creating an eery yet exciting atmosphere. Above the stage a huge mechanical dragon looks down on the audience and as you wait for the show to start you can examine a huge map of Oz in detail.

                        The two lead actresses are incredible, both with wonderful singing voices and impressive comic timing. Notable songs are the hilarious 'Popular' by Glinda which will make you cry laughing and 'Defying Gravity' by Elphaba (the witch) that will make you cry through sheer emotion! All the songs are catchy and moving, and I now listen to the soundtrack frequently.

                        The sets and the costumes are a masterpiece, the best I've seen in any West End show, perhaps apart from one outfit worn by the male lead which is perhaps a little too tight and revealing, quite off-putting if you're in the first few rows!

                        I would highly recommend Wicked to any fan of musicals and to anyone who likes to hear the other side of the story, or finds themselves routing for the underdog.

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                        17.06.2010 01:50

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                        Go and see it NOW!!!!

                        I must admit that as a straight man I wasn't expecting much from the evening when my girlfriend dragged me along to see Wicked in London's West End. However, on leaving I had changed my mind completely.

                        Without giving too much away, Wicked is essentially the story of what goes on leading up to the story of The Wizard of Oz that we all know and love. And trust me it'll make you see the whole thing in a different light. I would recommend anyone not familiar with the story of the Wizard of Oz to watch is as there are lots of overlaps.

                        We we went, it was a sort of last minute dash, we bought tickets on the door for the great price of £25 each, admittedly with student discount. The seats themselves were actually very good for the price we paid.

                        The show itself was spectacular. The performance I saw had the role of Elphaba being played by Rachel Tucker, who was in the BBC Show I'd Do Anything. To be honest, for the first few musical numbers I wasn't convinced by her and then she sang the musicals signature song, Defying Gravity, it was spectacular, I had goosebumps all over.

                        The show was touching, vibrant and full of memorable songs that will stay in your head for days afterwards. I would recommend this to everyone, especially those lads, who like me didn't think musicals were for them.

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                        07.06.2010 13:37
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                        Worth seeing over and over again

                        If you think the Wizard of Oz is good then be prepared to join the Wicked side. This musical is a must see for anyone looking for entertainment when in London. I have taken friends who are not fans of the theatre and they love it just as much as myself who likes to go to all the time! I guess most people reading these reviews will have never seen it before and I do not wish to spoil any of the story as I think one of the best things about this show is that you will not be expecting to love it as much as you will when you leave wanting more. I enjoy taking people to this musical as their reactions to it are always so positive.

                        The ticket prices are reasonable, I normally pay £15 for stall seats. The songs are memorable and witty, the story flows and is entertaining throughout. There is a CD available meaning you can take Wicked home with you or in the car and enjoy singing along with it. Once you have seen it you are likely to be eager to drag the next unlikely fan along.

                        This review does not detail any of the story or provide background information for the reason that I want newbies to simply experience this show for what it is, which for those lucky enough to give it a go without knowing too much, is a fantastic often unexpected joy - you do not need to be a fan of the theatre to enjoy this one!

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