Wicked – A Musical to Remember – Henry Brown – StJohns


Despite the Covid-19, last week I had the chance to go to the Apollo Victorian Theater in London to see the musical Wicked. Wicked completely reimagines the land of OZ, frequently reversing the roles of villain and heroine.

Wicked acts as the prequel to The Wizard of OZ and delves deep into the events leading up to the creation of the Wicked Witch of the West. As the audience, we are first introduced to Elphaba and Glinda (the protagonists) when they are just university students – One rich, pretty and popular: the other green, magical and gifted.

For me, the highlight of the musical was the music and the lyrics, especially the song Defying Gravity, in which Elphaba runs away from the emerald city and abandons the wizard. Throughout both acts, the audience repeatedly encounters the unlimited motif (a musical device in which a musical section or phrase is repeated throughout a piece) which helped build anticipation in the audience, while by making the musical ideas in development more homogeneous. All music and lyrics are due to the hard work of Stephan Schwartz. Schwartz is well known in the music industry with contributions to Disney’s Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and he even wrote Dreamwork’s Prince of Egypt song. Her awards include three Oscars, four Grammy Awards and the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award. Schwartz even received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in recognition of his talent and accomplishments.

From an acting point of view, I was amazed by the quality of acting demonstrated on stage, not to mention the experience that some of these actors had accumulated over the years. My favorite of all the actors had to be Alistair Brammer, who played Fiyero, as he was able to perfectly capture the complex emotions of a man in love with two separate people throughout the musical. Also, many audience members may have recognized him from some of his previous musicals such as his role as Chris in Miss Saigon; Enjolras in Les Misérables and Hair in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.


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