Just As Spellbinding 9 Years On: Wicked At The Apollo Victoria Theatre
| By Shaun Nolan
I saw Wicked for the first time on my 13th birthday after falling in love with the show over a decade ago when I first listened to the Broadway cast recording. I was stupid levels of obsessed with it for a very long time and enjoyed nothing more than bursting into a rendition of ‘Popular’ at some of the world’s most inconvenient moments. Years after having seen the show for the first time, I returned to the Apollo Victoria Theatre for my fourth visit to the show the other week to celebrate its 9th anniversary and this show is still as great as day one.
The stage and set design never cease to amaze me whenever I go back to see this show; there’s something about a stage that is filled with such authentic character that I find so incredibly charming and I feel like I’m already experiencing the unique magic of the show from the moment I see it for the first time. Everything about this show is visually stunning, which might be one of the main reasons it’s so appealing to younger audiences – it’s nice to go and see a show that’s so kooky in its design and really immersive in the world it takes place in.
As for the content of the show, this is the ultimate super-musical. Stephen Schwartz’s fantastic score never fails to sound more and more beautiful each time that live orchestra plays it and the Wicked's cast (led by Emma Hatton, Savannah Stevenson and Oliver Savile) sings through piece with perfection. My favourite songs from the score will always be 'No Good Deed', 'Thank Goodness' and of course 'Defying Gravity'. I always love hearing 'The Wicked Witch of the East' each time I go and see the show as well; the song is the only full-length song not included on the cast album because it gives away too much plotline, but each time Katie Rowley Jones sings the song’s namesake line, I get goosebumps.
Winnie Holzman’s delightful book is still as relevant and enjoyable to this day too, with a story about the power of true friendship and women fighting for what they believe in no matter the cost being as important as ever to see and to influence young children today. It’s also nice to see some small edits and new lines being added into the show each time you go, with a small “Lions and Tigers and Bears, OH MY!” nod to The Wizard of Oz being my new favourite.
It’s hard to find much else to talk about when it comes to Wicked because it’s only a very, very small minority of people that are yet to see this show. Nonetheless, if you’re yet to see the show or you just fancy taking a return trip to the Apollo Victoria in the near future then you can grab your Wicked tickets at LondonTheatreDirect.com. Already seen the show and want to tell me what you thought of it? Tweet me @shaunycat and LTD at @theatre_direct!