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Wicked The Musical Review 2009

My Second Time Seeing Wicked in London

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

By

Wicked at Apollo Victoria Theatre, London

Apollo Victoria Theatre

© Laura Porter, licensed to About.com, Inc.
I am a fan of the Wizard of Oz and I read Gregory Maguire's novel 'Wicked' when it was published back in 1995. I saw Wicked back in 2006 when it first arrived in London. Wicked continues to receive rave reviews so I decided to see it again to discover if the cast changes had affected the performance.

Wicked - The Story

Wicked tells the untold story of the Witches of Oz from L. Frank Baum's classic, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. We know what happened to Dorothy, but what about the other side of the story? How did the Wicked Witch of the West become so wicked? Was she born that way? Was she just misunderstood? Wicked the Musical is based on Gregory Maguire's novel, Wicked, where you find out about a green girl called Elphaba (yep, she's the Wicked Witch in later life) who was once friends with Glinda (that's the Good Witch of the North to you and me).

Wicked Booking Details

Helen Dallimore in the London production of WICKED© Tristam Kenton

Address: Apollo Victoria Theatre, Wilton Road, London SW1V 1LG

Nearest Tube Station: Victoria

Tickets:
Check ticket prices on the official website.

Book Wicked theatre breaks with Superbreak.

Performance Times:
Monday-Saturday at 7.30pm
Wednesday & Saturday matinees at 2.30pm

The performance lasts approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes, including a 20 minute interval. The theater opens 1 hour prior to performances.

Recommended age is 9 and over.

This information was accurate at the time of publication. Please check www.wickedthemusical.co.uk for the most current information.

Wicked The Musical Review

When I first saw Wicked in 2006 I was stunned by the following the show already had from its Broadway success. With an incredible merchandising promotion, Wicked T-shirts were worn by half the audience and most sang along to the songs.

In 2009, the hysteria has died down but three years on and over 1,000 performances already means Wicked is still a major West End theater success.

Wicked is musical theater at its best: a dazzling stage set, superb costumes, with an extremely talented cast.

When you arrive at the Apollo Victoria Theatre you will make your way through the theater foyer with its green glow. Tickets are scanned and not torn so it's speeding seating in this large art deco London theater. Once seated I bet the first thing you spot is that enormous mechanical dragon above the stage. And when the show starts flying monkeys appear from everywhere and the dragon starts roaring. But that's about as frightening as it gets so don't worry, you can bring the kids. Wicked is recommended for all over 9 years old and that sounds about right as any younger I think they'd be frightened or bored as this is actually adult musical theater that the children are welcome to enjoy too.

As in the film The Wizard of Oz, Glinda (later the Good Witch) is English and Elphaba (later the Wicked Witch) is American. The whole production feel very American but heh, it is.

Wicked Photo Gallery: Idina Menzel and Helen Dallimore in the London production of WICKEDPhoto credit: Tristam Kenton

The highlights for me were the costumes which are outstanding, and the end of the first half where Elphaba appears to be flying wearing a huge cloak with dramatic lighting. The weak point for me was Kerry Ellis as Elphaba putting on a real nasally New Yorker accent. It sort of hurt my inner ear, if you know what I mean. Speaking of accents, the Wizard (Desmond Barrit) didn't seem to have his accent under control.

As before, I lost track of time during the performance and that's not like me so this must be good. I was completely immersed in the story as were the people in front of me who even stopped Twittering on their iPhones long enough to watch the show.

This is cult theater and will appeal to Harry Potter fans of wizards of witches and all who enjoy losing themselves in musical theater for a few hours.

Book Wicked theatre breaks with Superbreak.

Nearby Dining Tips:
Apollo Victoria Theatre is on Wilton Road, next to Victoria train station. There are lots of cafes and restaurants on Wilton Road but not in sight of the theater so it's not obvious. Simply walk away from the theater and station for a few minutes and you'll find a plethora of dining options.

There is also Cardinal Place just around the corner on Victoria Street which has restaurants and shops.

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