Ever wonder what the real Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, was like?
Back before Dorothy's
house turned her sister into Yellow Brick Road-kill, and Dorothy gave her a
shower, Elphaba was a student just trying to do what was right.
This is the story of her college years,
meeting Glinda, the fact it is no fun being
green...and in love - magical or not.
The London production continues its
record-breaking run at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. On Wednesday 30th March
2016, at 2.30pm the show played its 4000th performance. It is currently the 8th
longest-running show in the West End, and already the 19th longest-running show
in West End theatre history, both facts verified by The Society of London
On Tuesday 27th September 2016, Wicked will celebrate an extraordinary 10
years in London. Please note that there will be no Day Seats released for this
The show welcomed its 7 millionth theatregoer to London’s Apollo Victoria
Theatre at the matinee performance on Saturday 17th October 2015.
Andrew Bell attended the performance with his wife Katie Bell and enjoyed a back
stage visit with the cast after the performance.
Photo credit (above): Troy Johnston.
From Monday 21 September 2015, Wicked stars:
Emma Hatton (Elphaba -
pictured above, photo credit: Matt Crockett),
Savannah Stevenson (Glinda - above, left, with Emma Hatton as Elphaba - photo
credit Matt Crockett),
Oliver Savile (Fiyero), Liza Sadovy (Madame Morrible),
Actor and presenter Mark Curry plays The Wizard. (photographer: Matt Crockett)
Mark Curry has enjoyed a long and successful career as both an actor and popular
television and radio presenter. He is still best remembered by many for Blue
Peter, which he co-hosted alongside Caron Keating and Yvette Fielding from 1986
to 1990. His many recent theatre appearances include: ‘Dr. Armstrong’ and
subsequently ‘Rogers’ in Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None (UK Tour);
‘Richard Willey MP’ in Ray Cooney’s Out of Order (The Mill at Sonning); ‘Andre
Cassell’ in Victor/Victoria (Southwark Playhouse); ‘Larry’ in Company (Southwark
Playhouse); ‘The Narrator’ in The Rocky Horror Show (UK Tour) and ‘The Compere’
in Victoria Wood’s Talent (Menier Chocolate Factory).
Sean Kearns (Doctor Dillamond - pictured above, photo by Matt Crockett),
Daniel Hope (Boq), Katie Rowley Jones (Nessarose) - both pictured above (photo
by Matt Crockett), Natalie Andreou (Standby for Elphaba), Carina Gillespie
(Standby for Glinda), Chloe Ames, Nicholas Collier, Laura Emmitt, Kerry Enright,
Oliver Evans, Freya Field, Joseph Fletcher, Rosie Fletcher, David Gale, Sergio
Giacomelli, Sheila Grant, Chester Hayes, Lauren James Ray, Aaron Jenkins,
Jasmine Kerr, Natalie McQueen, Billy Mitchell, Scott Monello, Kane Oliver Parry,
Steph Parry, Julienne Schembri, Paulo Teixeira, Joe Toland, Hannah Toy, Russell
Walker and Helen Woolf.
*Tom McGowan is appearing with the support of UK Equity, incorporating the
Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange program between American
Equity and UK Equity.
Current London cast members Emma Hatton (Elphaba), Savannah Stevenson (Glinda),
Liza Sadovy (Madame Morrible), Sean Kearns (Doctor Dillamond), Daniel Hope (Boq)
and Natalie Andreou (Standby for Elphaba) will all play their final performances
on Saturday 3rd September 2016.
From Monday 5 September 2016, the show will star
Rachel Tucker (Elphaba - photographer: Tristram Kenton),
Suzie Mathers (Glinda), Oliver Savile (Fiyero),
Anita Dobson (Madame Morrible),
Mark Curry (The Wizard. Photographer: Matt Crockett), Martin Ball (Doctor
Dillamond), Katie Rowley Jones (Nessarose), Idriss Kargbo (Boq), Alice Fearn
(Standby for Elphaba), Carina Gillespie (Standby for Glinda), James Darch, Kerry
Enright, Freya Field, Joseph Fletcher, Fraser Fraser, David Gale, Sergio
Giacomelli, Alexandra Grierson, Olivia Kate Holding, Aaron Jenkins, Claudia
Kariuki, Will Lucas, Chanel Mian, Billy Mitchell, Scott Monello, Ella Nonini,
Rosa O’Reilly, Julienne Schembri, Joe Sleight, Jessamy Stoddart, Paulo Teixeira,
Joe Toland, Hannah Toy, Russell Walker, Sasha Wareham and Helen Woolf.
Discover more at:
Hear the show: a dedicated SoundCloud channel has been created to showcase
snippets of the incredible music by multi GRAMMY® and Academy Award® winner
Stephen Schwartz. You can take a look at the channel here:
for a taste of some of the show-stopping tunes from the musical?
Also, are the links to the individuals songs on the SoundCloud channel:
WICKED is delighted to announce that Jacqueline Hughes (Elphaba), Carly Anderson
(Glinda), Bradley Jaden (Fiyero), Steven Pinder (The Wizard and Doctor Dillamond),
Kim Ismay (Madame Morrible), Iddon Jones (Boq), Emily Shaw (Nessarose) and Jodie
Steele (Standby for Elphaba) will lead the cast at the Alhambra Theatre,
Bradford from Wednesday 20th July 2016 until Sunday 21st August 2016 (and on
its subsequent international tour). Over 25,000 tickets have already been sold
for the much-anticipated Bradford engagement. For best availability choose
Sunday matinees (2.30pm) and midweek performances, with tickets starting from
just £21.50 (plus fees).
www.bradford-theatres.co.uk. (photo credit: Helen Maybanks).
WICKED LAUNCHES OFFICIAL EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOPS INCLUDING ANTI-BULLYING WORKSHOP,
CREATED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE ANTI-BULLYING ALLIANCE.
The workshops, which have been created by The ArtsLink in partnership with
members of the production’s own creative team, will be hosted by professional
actors and practitioners (many of whom are previous or current cast members).
Workshops in ANTI-BULLYING, DRAMA, DANCE, SINGING and MUSICAL THEATRE are now
available in schools or in London venues, before, after or independently of a
visit to the production. Suitable for KS2-5, the workshops are curriculum
focused, tested with teachers and facilitated by The ArtsLink, who specialise in
the connections between schools and arts organisations. The Anti-Bullying
Workshop has been created in partnership with the Anti-Bullying Alliance, one of
the production’s long-standing charity partners.
The production’s ACTIVE LEARNING programme offers free downloadable lesson plans
to inspire students. Created by practicing teachers, this comprehensive
educational resource also provides supporting materials (including script
extracts and production imagery) and the Apollo Victoria Theatre’s risk
assessment form and visitor information pack.
The workshops include:
DRAMA: a dynamic performance workshop exploring the characters, themes and
staging of Wicked. Participants use the script of Wicked to develop their acting
techniques, and take part in exercises to help them develop their
characterisation, chorus work, and improvisation skills.
SINGING: technical workshop helping participants develop their vocal techniques.
Participants will learn two contrasting songs from Wicked developing their solo
and harmony singing.
DANCE: a physical workshop tailored to the level of the participants. Pupils
will explore elements of choreography from Wicked, and explore how to express
character and intention through physicality.
MUSICAL THEATRE: a combination workshop that touches on dance, singing and drama
skills using a scene from the show.
ANTI-BULLYING WORKSHOP (in partnership with the Anti-Bullying Alliance): the
workshop uses drama exercises and scenes from Wicked to explore how to deal with
bullying, what to do if someone is being bullied, and positive behaviour which
can discourage bullying.
Schools interested in the programme are able to find out more by visiting:
The entire educational programme is a non-profit, self-funding enterprise and a
percentage of the money generated by the workshops will also be reinvested into
extending and creating new education resources and experiences for young people.
On Friday 24th June 2016, the 2016 Wicked Young Writer Awards announced its
winners during a ceremony involving over 100 shortlisted finalists and their
families and teachers at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre.
Now in its 6th year, the Awards encourage young people aged 5-25 years to use
writing as a way of expressing themselves, producing unique and original pieces
of prose and poetry. This year the standard of entries was higher than ever,
revealing young people who are engaged in their communities and the world
through their writing. The Awards celebrate originality and the unique voice of
the young writer.
Each year, thousands of entries are received across five age categories, with
the addition in 2016, of the WICKED: FOR GOOD Award, encouraging 15–25 year olds
to write essays or articles that recognise the positive impact that people can
have on each other, their communities and the world in general. The new award
celebrates the WICKED: FOR GOOD programme, which supports the charitable causes
at the heart of the stage musical.
The ceremony was hosted by Gaby Roslin, TV and radio presenter, with prizes
presented by Head Judge Cressida Cowell, bestselling author of the How to Train
Your Dragon series of books.
Wicked cast members also performed songs from the hit musical, as well as
readings of the winning entries, which were revealed as:
Joint winner: Aoife Stewart, 6, from Ealing London for ‘Problems in Potland’
Joint winner: George McGivern, 6 from Kent for ‘The King Who Hated Christmas’
Joint winner: Isla Whitford, 6 Kent for ‘William and the Dog Catcher’
Joint winner: Angelina Thakrar, 8 from Lewes for ‘The Day of the Dead’
Joint winner: Matilda Collins, 11 from Eastbourne for ‘Night Step’
Joint winner: Eilidh Laurie 12 from Stirling, Scotland for ‘As White as Snow’
Joint winner: Harry Watson, 14 from Enfield, London for ‘Prison Life: A Teenage
Joint winner: Amber Marino, 15 from Sutton, Surrey for ‘The Journalist’
Joint winner: Charlotte Morgan, 16 from Bridport, Dorset for ‘Desire of the
Winner: Fabiana Conte Luque, 25 from London for ‘Unforgettable Sounds’
For Good Category:
Joint winner: Isabelle Emma Stokes, 21 from Brighton
Joint winner: Sophie Arthur, 19 from Cheltenham, Glos
Amongst this year’s finalists were stories, poems and non-fiction writing
showing the beginnings of real social awareness and conscience. Highlighted
concerns included environmental disasters, the rights of women, arranged
marriages, the plight of refugees around the world and more immediately, the
homeless. A powerful and realistic cautionary tale showed the dangers and
difficulties of life in a young offender’s prison. Fantastical ghost stories,
wildly funny pet stories and great flights of imagination made the younger
entries a joy to read.
Cressida Cowell said of the winners, “This year, my fellow judges and I read
poems and stories that are poignant, amusing and captivating. They addressed
really big issues, war, homelessness, prejudice, and abuse. There was an
incredible range of styles and an array of brilliantly original voices, but they
all had this in common: they made us judges feel something. As an author, one of
the main messages I want to get across to the young people in this country is
that a career in writing or the Arts is an option open to them. Did you know
that last year the Creative Industries made £10 million an hour for the UK
economy? These young writers whether finalists or winners need to carry on
The WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS raises money for the National Literacy Trust, who
campaign to improve public understanding of the vital importance of literacy.
Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust will be returning as
part of the judging panel.
Michael McCabe, Executive Producer (UK) of Wicked said, “All of us at Wicked are
incredibly proud of this project and greatly indebted to Her Royal Highness The
Duchess of Cornwall, Michael Morpurgo and Cressida Cowell for their support.
Their passionate commitment to encouraging creative writing and improving
literacy standards amongst young people in the UK is an inspiration to us all”.
Scheme details are online at
In June 2015, Wicked expanded its FOR GOOD programme - the philanthropic scheme
to give back to the causes at the heart of the production by announcing five new
charity partnerships: Anti-Bullying Alliance, Cybersmile, The Helen Bamber
Foundation, Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity, and Stonewall Education For All.
These partnerships complement FOR GOOD’s two flagship events – the Wicked Young
Writers’ Award and WICKED DAY in association with The Woodland Trust.
The FOR GOOD programme will see the classic musical fundraise by creating FOR
GOOD branded merchandise and introducing opt-in donations with profits going
directly to the charity partners.
Specific activity with each charity will also include; co-delivery of a Wicked
themed anti-bullying workshop run with the Anti-Bullying Alliance as part of
Kids Week, supporting and promoting the 10th anniversary of the Helen Bamber
Foundation on Human Right’s Day in December, co-creation of resources with
Stonewall to be distributed during Anti-Bullying Week, and supporting various
events and campaigns like the recent Stop Cyberbullying Day for Cybersmile and
Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity’s Big Hour Campaign in October. More
information about the charities work can be found at
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(Seen at the Evening performance on 11th February 2015). Some actors have
since left the cast.
There's a reason the monkey is able to re-visit this show after 9 years... it
remains a (pure) waterproof hit, as slick as its first night.
After all these years, it's very clear just what a well-constructed piece it
is. Memorable songs, satisfying story that makes its two and three-quarter hours
fly by like a magic broomstick.
Best of all, at the performance the monkey saw, a prediction it made back in
September 2011 came true. With regular Emma Hatton unavailable, Natalie Andreou
stepped in at the shortest notice as Elphaba - just as Ms Andreou did in
September 2011 for Amy Pemberton in "Rock Of Ages." The monkey said then that
"Ms Andreou isn’t known – but should be, and soon. A leading lady who producers
should be falling over themselves to sign to whichever musical takes her fancy."
The monkey is so glad the producers of "Wicked" took its advice.
At the risk of channelling its "Wicked inner fangirl" Natalie Andreou smashes
her role out of the ballpark. The monkey was almost in tears with her "I'm Not
That Girl," and "Defying Gravity" is a triumph. If this is her third
performance, her 103rd will be something. Andreou is someone special in musical
theatre. If you can catch another of her nights "on," do.
Savannah Stevenson (Galinda) and Martyn Ellis (The Wizard) are the other
stand out performances, both managing engaging performances. The ensemble too
put in a fine effort on a "double performance" day, taking the show at a slower
pace which helps the narrative.
This show remains the perfect teen treat as an introduction to musical
This review refers to the original cast. Casting has now changed.
"Lyrics and music and book, oh my!" Proof, if proof were needed, that the
old-fashioned Broadway musical isn't dead. The story is basically the
traditional "green girl wants boy, boy wants yellow girl" ending with green girl
turning boy yellow, and yellow and green girl settling their differences - with
some animal rights stuff and zingy one liners thrown in. The satisfaction is in
the neat dovetailing with the classic film - find out how the well loved
characters became what they are; the downside is overlong sequences that look
great but add twenty minutes of ballast to the proceedings.
This is very much a show of two halves. The first has Winnie "My So Called
Life" Holzman channel female adolescence with acuity once again. If business
starts to slip, producers should re-paint the theatre walls powder pink,
replace seats with furry-toy strewn beds and provide free popcorn, cosmetics and
a pizza delivery service. Very much attuned to the sleepover crowd, the fun
"Popular" and 'I wish' numbers "The Wizard and I" and "I'm
Not That Girl" are
arrows to teenage hearts. Once the director realises "Popular" works way better
with an American air-head accent than it does with a British spoof-Sloane one,
it'll be the perfect "DVD night in" substitute. That isn't to say Helen Dallimore
should be upset by frank analysis, but the director should consider the show in
need of personality dialysis and restore it to the original (United States)
state at the next cast change. Oh, and that line is probably the "wittiest" in the
show - you can almost hear Sondheim scream as it is sung.
Act two grows progressively darker, and the resolutions come late into it.
Tighter than act one, and noticeably more adult, it eschews the clumsy shifts of
place for a smoother cinematic feel but feels rushed to ensure the show comes in
at the sub-three hour mark. The searing "As Long as You're Mine" and insightful
"For Good" deserved time that "Wizomania" pointlessly occupies and could have
turned a good show into an unforgettable one. Time to contemplate motives, cause
and effect are limited, and the monkey would have appreciated more of it spaced
through the production.
Expensively staged, occasionally buckling under its own spectacular mass,
set (Elphaba could perhaps have flown properly had there been space) and a
desire to give the audience every penny of the production costs in spectacle
over substance, this is the golden era of musicals brought into the 21st
century. Those old musicals had their faults, as does this, but ultimately a
show succeeds on how deep its songs and images engrave themselves in the memory.
Probably too crass for the current "post war" musical lover (though Schwartz
produces some of his best work here), Wicked will still worm its way into the
affections of many - younger people especially - perhaps ultimately ending up as
a "standard" in fifty years time. As the dragon signifies, it is time that
tells, and this show is mostly worthy of the audiences' hours.