Autism-Friendly performance: 14th May 2016 at 1.30pm - notes.
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
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.
On Friday 15th April 2016, "Wicked" was delighted to welcome Beau Dermott and
her family to the Apollo Victoria Theatre, where she met the cast after the
show. 12 year old Beau’s rendition of Wicked’s hit song ‘Defying Gravity’ wowed
the judges on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, winning her the ‘Golden Buzzer’ and
immediately securing herself a place in the live semi-finals.
Pictured above, left: from left, Helen Woolf (Glinda), Beau Dermott, Emma Hatton
(Elphaba). Right: from left, Beau Dermott, Emma Hatton (Elphaba).
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.
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 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.
The show is proud to announce the sixth year of the prestigious WICKED YOUNG
WRITER AWARDS, which this year introduces a new non-fiction category. Entries
are now closed for this year.
A shortlist of 120 entrants from across the UK will see their work published in
the WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS Anthology. They are also invited to an exclusive
ceremony at London’s Apollo Victoria, home to the hit musical since 2006, where
judges and members of the Wicked cast will announce who has won in each
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
The show is proud to announce its first ever Autism-Friendly
performance on Saturday 14th May 2016 at 1:30pm.
The production is working closely with the National Autistic Society, the UK's
leading charity for people on the autism spectrum and their families, to create
a friendly and supportive environment in which to enjoy the show. The specially
adapted performance is suitable for people with autism, with trained staff on
hand in dedicated quiet and activity areas should anyone need to leave their
Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society, said: “We were
delighted to be offered the opportunity to work with the Apollo Victoria
Theatre, the Ambassador Theatre Group and the producers of this hugely
successful show. More than one in one hundred people have autism in the UK, and
many of those affected by this lifelong condition are acutely sensitive to
everyday sights and sounds, which other people are able to filter out, such as
fluorescent lighting, background music or traffic noise. Autistic people and
their families tell us that they would love to go to the theatre but because of
sensory issues are prevented from doing so. Wicked’s production team have taken
great care in adapting the show which means that for some of the audience on 14
May, this will be the very first time that they are able to experience the
thrill of a live performance.”
Executive Producer (UK) Michael McCabe said: “We are greatly indebted to the
National Autistic Society and to the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) for their
support in arranging this dedicated Autism-Friendly performance. We’re delighted
to be able to welcome fans of Wicked who wouldn’t normally be able to attend a
standard performance and look forward to what promises to be an inspiring
experience for us all.”
People with autism can experience sensory overload so to deal with this there
will be adjustments made to the sounds and lighting. People will be able to
leave the auditorium as needed and there will be chill out spaces identified
around the theatre. Theatre staff, cast and crew will have been given an insight
into autism so they are more aware of the needs of this audience.
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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.