West End: Wicked Review 2012

No one mourns the Wicked . . . 

This is the second time I have seen Wicked. But the first time I have seen it in the West End. It had been over 3 years since I saw it on Broadway. Obviously I know all the words to the songs from listening to the soundtrack, but I had forgotten all about the little things. How funny the show is, how heartfelt and emotionally it is from start to finish. How some of the songs are staged as well, this is something you forget while just listening to the soundtrack. Although Defying Gravity you remember from start to finish, that doesn’t stop the tingling all over your body when it’s being sung. It really is the ultimate show stopping moment in a musical and an incredible way to end the first act and leave the audience sitting thinking wow and knowing what they have just seen is something very special.

I remember Rachel Tucker from the TV show trying to find a new Nancy for Oliver! from a few years ago now. It just shows how far she has come to be in the role of Elphaba although her run finishes tonight! Then a new cast will be on the West End stage. She really was brilliant in the part.

The only problem with this show was Matt Willis (Busted) as Fiero he really was poor in the singing stakes and really killed “As Long As You’re Mine” he was all over the place. I was so disappointing with this as really love that song, it’s so emotional and key to the story and how Elphaba and Fiero know that they don’t have much time together. “Kiss me so fiercely, hold me too tight” – those lyrics tell the love story which is pretty much forbidden and doomed.

It made me love the musical even more and it is very possibly my favorite ever musical. The songs are just incredible in the way you can relate to them and understand them with the different events which occur and happen throughout your life, the friends you make and lose, different loves you may chase and not get. Which may sound a little crazy if you think this is just a slightly different version of The Wizard of Oz, yes it’s about the Witches (and the Wizard) but it is so much more than that. The friendship is just brilliant between Elphaba and Glinda, they start off hating each other, then like and help each other but they were truly best friends.

Other than Matt Willis as Fiero, I thought the cast were all just fantastic from start to finish. I will admit that I was a little nervous when Rachel Tucker started to sing as Elphaba really is a big role and my friend who I went to see the show with had already seen Tucker in the role and wasn’t overly impressed, but she loved how much she had grown into the role.

I think Defying Gravity could be one of the greatest ever songs to watch being performed on a stage. The emotion, the passion and desire which is in this song is frightening. I actually had goosebumps all over my body and found it really sent shivers down my spine. Nothing can really prepare you for that moment, even if you have seen it before. It is show stopping, incredible and I don’t think any musical closes the first act in the same way at all. It really does leave you breathless.

Yes I do realise that I have now mentioned Defying Gravity a few times within this blog post but I really could not help it at all. It is honestly that amazing.

I thought Rachel Tucker and Gina Beck really worked well together and bounced off each other in the right way. Something which has to be spot on for the musical to run right. They have to sing a few songs with each other, and go from hating each other but then changing for the better because they knew each other.

I really enjoyed my first experience of Wicked London. I cannot wait to go and see it again, especially now as the cast has changed. I saw one of the last performances with this cast and really pleased about that as well, they really were just fantastic. A musical I probably listened to more than any other with the soundtrack (actually maybe not as much as Chicago) but I know every word of every song. Don’t forget though this is so much more than the songs and has a story built around them as well. This is not easy to work out if you have not seen it performed on the stage. After 6 years it is still easy one of the biggest shows on the West End and that doesn’t look like it is going to change any time soon.

I would really love to see a film version of this show they really could go in so many directions with it. The main talking points would be who would take on the roles . . . but I guess that is another blog post! So if you have not yet seen Wicked you really should make the effort, which should be easier if the rumours for a UK Tour next year are true. It could be flying into a theatre near you next year!

So a second time seeing this show has made my love for it grow even more, I didn’t even realise that was possible but it really is just an incredible experience. I could easily see it many more times, which hopefully I will. There’s not one song that I dislike, I really like them all in different ways. It’s such a well-balanced show because of the different types of songs and the lyrics really are key to making it so successful, you can relate to all of the songs from some time in your life.

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