Wicked at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre

Louise writes:

Firstly, I’m really going to have restrain myself from making all the jokes about us having a “Wicked” time… let me get that out of my system now!

Wicked the Musical is the “Untold story of the Witches of Oz” – looking at the backstory of the so-called wicked witch of the west, then following her story parallel to the original Oz story. Based on Gregory Maguire’s acclaimed 1995 novel, ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’, it shows a different side to the familiar tale.

I was lucky enough to take my two biggest kids along. Iris has been learning some of the songs at her school’s “Glee Club” and Felix knew of it too so they were very excited. I will state now that I am not a huge musicals fan so was probably the least enthusiastic of the group, but everyone I spoke to said it was amazing, we would love it etc.  and I’m always keen on a night out, so off we went.

The first think that strikes you when you get there is the outside of the theatre. I don’t think I’ve been to such a long-running show before and it looks amazing: lit up green from the outside, so you can see where you are heading from quite a way away. This really fuelled the kids’ excitement. Even more so when we got inside and everything is Wicked-related in the auditorium too. Lots of fun.

The show itself was excellent. I have to admit, the songs were a bit too “musical” for me (I know how ridiculous I sound) but if you like that sort of thing, you really couldn’t fault the performances. Leaving that aside, as I realise it’s a personal preference and not really a criticism, I thought the rest of it was great. The story was so clever: familiar yet with some interesting twists and turns that really did leave you sympathetic towards the complex character of Elphaba, and significantly less so towards the Wizard of Oz! The sets looked amazing, there were some quite intense effects too which made it a very atmospheric performance.

The kids thought it was brilliant and said it was the best show they had seen (full disclosure: they say this every time they go to the theatre but they really did mean it!). Iris in particular was talking about it for days and is keen to see more. Looks like this musicalophobe is going to be back in the theatre again soon!



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