Posted on 17 October 2017
As someone who lost their Wicked Virginity recently I thought I would guide those who are undecided about whether they should go; whether it is because a friend/much-loved one is trying to drag you along or you are just unsure if it is your thing I will guide you through the dos and don’ts.
- I quite liked The Wizard of Oz and/or The Wiz, should I bother with this?
Absolutely! Whilst The Wizard of Oz (or the Blaxploitation version The Wiz) was an hour and a half of fabulous monochrome and colour we don’t learn all that much about the weird world Dorothy and Toto find themselves in. This looks at life before their arrival with Elphaba (Alice Fearn) and Glinda (Sophie Evans) meeting at college and the disintegration of their friendship, their love of Fiyero (Bradley Jaden) and meeting the Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Andy Hockley), who brings a Trump-like menace to usually cuddly appearing Wizard.
- Why is the Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba, green?
They tell you this in the play but it involves a travelling salesman, Elphaba’s mother and a green vial.
- There’s a lot of prequels about now. Why should I care about this one?
This is the QUEEN of prequels. Wicked made its debut in 2003 in the US and came to London in 2006. It is still selling and doing incredibly well. I expected it to be much more sugary but there is a real light and dark element and the relatively long running time of 2hrs 45 flies by. There’s a lot of depth to not only the characters but the story, focusing on animal rights, love and The Wizard of Oz being the world’s greatest PR man.
- Will I learn anything new?
Yes! It portrays both the witches in different lights. Elphaba is the outsider, with a good heart when it comes to animals and most people. Glinda is as light and frothy as you would expect but she chooses (eventually) to help Elphaba settle rather than continue to be the outsider. The second half focuses more on the timeline of The Wizard of Oz so if you struggle with the first half, the second will feel a lot more familiar.
- Can I sing along to Defying Gravity?
No. Or if you do please do it quietly under your breath
- I would like to book! Where do I go?
Wicked tickets are available from London Theatre Direct, here. The show is currently is booking until 1 December 2018.
Shanine Salmon was a latecomer to theatre after being seduced by the National Theatre's £5 entry pass tickets and a slight obsession with Alex Jennings. She is sadly no longer eligible for 16-25 theatre tickets but she continues to abuse under 30 offers. There was a market for bringing awareness that London theatre was affordable in an era of £100+ West End tickets – Shanine’s blog, View from the Cheap Seat, launched in April 2016, focuses on productions and theatres that have tickets available for £20 and under. She is also quite opinionated and has views on diversity, pricing, theatre seats and nudity on stage. Her interests include Rocky Horror, gaming, theatre (of course) and she also has her own Etsy shop. Shanine tweets at @Braintree_.