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The West End production of Wicked recently celebrated its 13th birthday and has been seen by over 10 million people in London alone.
The hit musical officially opened in London on 27 September 2006, making it the ninth longest-running musical in West End History.
With music and lyrics by celebrated composer Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holtzman, Wicked features hit songs Defying Gravity, Popular, For Good and No One Mourns the Wicked, and has gone on to win almost every major award.
Based on Gregory Maguire’s novel of the same name, the musical adaptation of Wicked came to Broadway in 2003 and was originally nominated for 10 Tony Awards. The London production followed three years later, arriving at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in the West End, with five Olivier Award nominations.
Here’s all you need to know about the West End smash.
Wicked is a retelling of the classic story of The Wizard of Oz, which explores the origins of wickedness.
Told from the perspective of the witches of Oz, the musical begins before (and continues after) Dorothy Gale’s arrival in Oz from Kansas and tells us the story of two unlikely schoolfriends: Elphaba (The Wicked Witch of the West) and Galinda (who later changes her name to Glinda the Good Witch).
As the narrative progresses, the friends struggle with their opposing personalities and viewpoints, and a rivalry over the same love interest develops and threatens their friendship. Ultimately, Elphaba’s public fall from grace and her acceptance to become “wicked” seals their fate.
Originally, the London production of Wicked starred Broadway legend Idina Menzel, who originated the role of Elphaba on Broadway. She performed a limited engagement, reprising the role for three months back in 2006.
The current cast is an all-new ensemble with Laura Pick and Helen Woolf taking on the star roles of Elphaba and Glinda. Kim Ismay plays Madame Morrible with Simeon Truby as Dr Dillamond.
Fiyero is played by the star of the West End and Broadway production of Miss Saigon, Alistair Brammer.
Stepping in for Carina Gillespie’s maternity cover is Natasha Ferguson playing Nessarose. Nicholas McLean is currently playing the role of Boq.
Wicked is a spellbinding musical that has become a firm favourite with theatregoers since opening 13 years ago. Cleverly subverting the story we think we know from L Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Wicked cheekily pokes fun at and redefines what we know about these iconic characters.
Through its score of melodic pop tunes, musical theatre showstoppers and sumptuous ballads, Wicked casts its spell on audiences from the very opening bars of opener No One Mourns The Wicked.
Meanwhile, act one closer Defying Gravity is a tour de force – a song which has truly transcended its humble musical theatre beginnings to become a bona fide hit – and includes some technical onstage wizardry that’s truly breathtaking to behold.
Wicked is now showing at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre. The show runs for 2 hours 45 minutes, including a 15-minute interval.
Tickets to see Wicked are available now through Ticketmaster.co.uk.