Last week saw the return of Wicked the musical to the Edinburgh Playhouse, so as a very rare ‘school-night’ treat – we went along for opening night!
For those unschooled in the ways of Wicked, it’s billed as the prequel to The Wizard of Oz. It tells of the unlikely teen friendship between Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) and Glinda (the Good Witch). There is of course a number of themes that run throughout – jealousy, romance, teen angst, the marginalisation of others – but actually just has the most amazing songs. However, unlike most prequels it actually overlaps with The Wizard of Oz in that Dorothy arrives during the prequel and her story is actually over before Wicked ends. I wouldn’t say it’s necessary to have seen The Wizard of Oz before Wicked – but it certainly helps with understanding some of the plot!
Both Helen Woolf as Glinda and Amy Ross as Elphaba were just flawless in their performances, but having seen a number of different people in these roles before – Amy Ross really did steal the show for me. Her voice is just stunning and I felt like she really delivered each of her big numbers in a spectacular fashion. Defying Gravity was always going to be my favourite number but she really did bring it. Whilst the other main characters were also really strong, I was really struck by the cast as well. The choreography of each scene was really impressive and their talent as dancers was clearly evident.
Katie has been singing ‘Popular’ for the last week on repeat and obviously favoured Glinda as a character. (I think the fact that she arrived in a giant bubble from the sky really won it!) We were told there is an age advisory on the show of 7 years but she really did enjoy the show. It is fairly plot heavy at times and I think she lost out on some of the nuances and particularly the humour relating to the Wizard of Oz. It also is much longer than other shows we’ve been to – including musicals – so she struggled a little with this but it’s evident that she picked up on a lot of the music.
As always, the food and drink available was your standard theatre fair – ice cream was expensive (but yummy) and we did enjoy a drink in the bar before hand. A number of cast members were on each of the levels amongst the audience before the show started so there were loads of photo opportunities and a chance to ask them questions. Katie was a little shy but was delighted to get a high five!
Wicked is still on at the Edinburgh Playhouse but only until 9th June 2018 – if you’ve got the time then I really would recommend it as a brilliant night out – but I’d book soon as tickets are going quickly! We were gifted tickets but all thoughts in this review are of course my own! All photo credit goes to Matt Crockett.