Wicked tells the “untold story” of the Witches of Oz - popular blonde Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, and her spin-victim friend Elphaba, the green-skinned Wicked Witch of the West – who were both immortalised in the 1939 film classic The Wizard of Oz. The show has a book by Winnie Holtzman, based on Gregory Maguire’s novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.
American Idina Menzel makes her West End debut reprising her Tony Award-winning Broadway performance as Elphaba, while Australian Helen Dallimore plays “good witch” Glinda. Adam Garcia (Fiyero), Nigel Planer (The Wizard), Miriam Margolyes (Madame Morrible), James Gillan (Boq) and Katie Rowley Jones (Nessarose) also star. The London production reunites the New York creative team, led by director Joe Mantello and designer Eugene Lee.
The majority of overnight critics enjoyed the spectacle of the lavish production, and the “powerhouse” performances of Menzel and Dallimore as the Wicked and Good Witches, respectively. However, they also said the show was overblown, occasionally preachy, and suffered from more hype than heart.
- by Caroline Ansdell