Review of WICKED the musical for my Silver Arts Award :)

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Posting this as part of my Arts Award, sharing my review with others
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WICKED’ review


On December 13th 2014, I went to the Edinburgh playhouse to watch the musical WICKED.

I have seen a range of different musicals and productions before, mostly in London and cities such as Liverpool and Manchester. The most recent production (excluding WICKED) I went to watch was ‘Cabaret’ in the Lyric Theatre, Salford. WICKED was a completely different atmosphere to that of ‘Cabaret’ or any other musical/ play I have seen.

WICKED is the tale of Glinda (with a Gaa) the Good; and slightly ditsy! And Elphaba, a green, highly opinionated and full of attitude witch. The story follows the pair as they develop an unlikely friendship and moulds itself as the untold tale of the witches within the popular musical ‘The Wizard of Oz’. The protagonist Elphaba or Elphie, as Glinda later begins to call her, tries to find herself in this musical, showing the audience the transition from young witch into the wicked witch of the west we all know famously from the Wizard of Oz.

I thoroughly enjoyed the entire production, from the setting which was both simple yet well thought out to the utterly amazing voices of the whole cast. My favourite part of the show was the humour that ran throughout, particularly the ditsy and yet wonderfully charming personality of Glinda. This was particularly apparent in the scene in which Glinda is trying to teach Elphie how to be popular and attract attention with the simple toss of the hair.

The only minor criticism I have about the show was the way that Elphaba’s sister Nessarose was presented to the audience. I understood from the word ‘sister’, that Nessarose would inevitably be revealed as the Witch of the East, who as we all know has a house dropped on her in the beginning of the Wizard of Oz. However, I just felt the character was very bitter and refused help of Elphie in any situation. I thoroughly felt for Nessarose, being wheelchair bound and perhaps resentful against her sister for not being the same, but I felt the character could have been presented as both trying to be independent and yet a little softer in her approach towards her sister and some of the other characters. We do see the character of Nessarose soften slightly as she forms a relationship with Boq, a boy from their school, Shiz University. However this is brief and towards the end the anger of Nessarose leads to her misfortunes.

By seeing WICKED, I was able to learn about the way in which the story was presented to the audience, and what hard work and dedication can really achieve. I can only imagine the hours of painstaking work that went into every aspect of the production. I have also been reassured that it is a profession I wish to work in and that the end result is always one to be proud of (the theatre was literally packed!!)

I would definitely recommend WICKED, it is a must see, even if one is just curious as to how Gregory Maguire, the Author of WICKED, has tangled together the life of the two witches and made us think, do we really know them at all? Are our judgments all wrong on these witches?

The musical has cleverly taken the two mediums and in return, have succeeded in creating a show stopping theatre production, in which the audience can laugh, cry, and sing along with a cast of characters they feel they only got a glimpse of when seeing the Wizard of Oz.

It certainly made me feel like defying gravity!

Written by: Jessica Baker
Review mark: 4/5

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