REVIEW: WICKED 10th Anniversary (Apollo Victoria Theatre) ★★★★
Last night WICKED celebrated ten years of performances in London with a special show at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. Previous members of the cast joined writer Stephen Schwartz on stage for the curtain call including Kerry Ellis, Louise Dearman, Gina Beck, Willemijn Verkaik and Savannah Stevenson.
If you’re one of the few who hasn’t seen this spellbinding stage show, it is the back story to the classic Wizard of Oz. We find out who the Witches really were growing up and how they came to be the people we see in the film. We find out who the cowardly lion, tin man and scarecrow really were and find out there is more to the story than we originally thought. Throw in a love triangle, some great songs and some of the most colourful costumes you will see on stage and that pretty much sums it up.
The 10th anniversary cast are for the most part wonderful. Olivier Savile continues in the role of Fiyero for the second year and suits the part perfectly. Rachel Tucker, the worlds longest serving Elphaba, is back on the West End stage after a stint on Broadway playing the role. She is undeniably brilliant and has an incredible voice. Suzie Mathers has played the part of Glinda all around the world in Australia and Asia and now joins the London production. Her english accent is perfect and she is truly wonderful in the role. Mark Curry shines as the Wizard and comes across as extremely loveable. One of my favourite theatre roles is actually the part of Nessarose. Katie Rowley Jones originated the role when the London production opened in 2006 and returned to the show in 2012. She has played the role for six out of the ten years the show has been running which is pretty impressive. Katie will leave the show in January 2017 but it was lovely to see her there to celebrate the ten year anniversary of a show she has been such a big part of. Anita Dobson is sadly less impressive as Madame Morrible. Her acting is wooden and feels like she is going through the motions rather than believing every word she says. Idriss Kargbo’s portrayal of the loveable munchkin Boq also come across strange and his love for Glinda is not believable.
I was hoping that this special show would have a big finale with a few performances from previous cast members but unfortunately the curtain call wasn’t as spectacular as it could have been. It seemed a shame to get so many great actors on stage that have performed in the show over the years, to do nothing but be seen for a few seconds.
WICKED is undeniably a brilliant musical. It is bright and colourful with a story that can relate to people of all ages. The songs are incredibly catchy and it deserves all its success. Here’s to another ten years!
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Photos: Matt Crocket
WICKED is booking until 4 November 2017 at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. Get tickets