As previously tipped (See The Goss, 14 Dec 2005), the multi award-winning Broadway musical Wicked will receive its UK premiere in the autumn at the West End’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, where is now confirmed to open on 27 September 2006, following previews from early September.

The musical fantasy rewinds from The Wizard of Oz - immortalised on screen in the 1939 Hollywood film - to tell the back story of the warring witches: Glinda, the supposedly Good Witch of the North, and Elphaba, the green-skinned Wicked Witch of the West who falls victim to spin.

The stage production opened in October 2003 at New York’s George Gershwin Theater, where it’s still running. It has a book by Winnie Holtzman, based on Gregory Maguire’s novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Music and lyrics are by Stephen Schwartz (Pippin, Godspell). Songs include “Popular”, “No One Mourns the Wicked”, “The Wizard and I”, “I’m Not that Girl” and “The March of the Witch Hunters”.

Although, according to today’s Daily Mail, Wicked will be adapted for UK audiences, the original Broadway creative team – including director Joe Mantello and designer Eugene Lee - are expected to reunite for the West End production. In London, Mantello has previously directed Richard Greenberg’s play Take Me Out at the Donmar Warehouse before its transfer to New York’s Public Theater and subsequent Broadway run.

Currently at the Apollo Victoria, screen-to-stage disco musical Saturday Night Fever will, after numerous extensions, finish its run on 18 February 2006. It will be followed by the Billy Joel-Twyla Tharp dance musical Movin' Out, which closed on Broadway this past weekend. It will have a limited season, running from 18 April to 17 July 2006 (previews from 28 March), at the Apollo Victoria ahead of a continental tour (See News, 7 Dec 2005).

- by Terri Paddock