By Michelle Stannard
We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz…or is he? Well that’s exactly how I felt after watching the West End classic, ‘Wicked’ at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre.
Wicked tells the story of what went down in Oz from the perspective of Elphaba (known later as the Wicked Witch of the West) and Glinda (The Good). We (the audience and I) were taken on an immersive, musical adventure through Oz with some incredible animatronics and special effects.
The more I watched, the more I disliked the wizard and loved Elphaba. I don’t want to give too much away because it’s a show like no other you’ll see, but Wicked brought on genuine emotions and awe in me that I have never felt before in my life!
From the go, you’ll feel like you’re on a rollercoaster ride of emotion as Glinda and Elphaba’s friendship hits a crossroad of deception, seduction and unexpected surprises. You’ll change your views on the infamous Wizard, see what really happened with Dorothy’s encounter and watch the most bittersweet love story in history form for Elphaba.
Every single one of the actors performing were great but the one that stood out the most from the show for me was Elphaba (played by Amy Ross). Her voice left my heart aching for her, her stage presence meant that I couldn’t take my eyes off of her, and her flying scene looked scary (so thank you for doing something scary in the name of entertainment). I would absolutely watch Wicked a million more times over as a result!
The other two things that really stood out for me were:
They were exactly how I imagined Oz when I was a child and the added animatronics (mainly the dragon) left me needing to collect my jaw from the floor. My favourite scene definitely had to be when Elphaba was fleeing the Wizard’s guards and performed the song ‘Defying Gravity’ which was magical, interactive (yes I absolutely sang along) and gravity defying!
The live music (by Stephen Schwartz) was stunning, and made the whole show so much more real and raw. The kind of feeling where your eyes fill with tears from laughter and sadness all at once, and a lump appears in your throat. It definitely was a case where the saying, bringing music to my ears, rang true.
With Wicked being the 6th longest running Broadway of all time, it’s no surprise that it’s still sending a flash of magic all around the world. I for one absolutely loved the show, and think if you haven’t seen it, then you really are missing out on one of the greatest experiences of your lifetime!