A few weeks ago Ed and I made the two hour journey into London. I don’t do this often as I can’t stand being in the capital as it really affects my mental health and I struggle massively with claustrophobia when using the underground and walking around in crowds, so it was a big deal to go. The reason we were there was to see Wicked, something I have wanted to do for years, ever since I heard somebody saying how amazing the show was.
I went in semi-blind as I had heard one of the most famous songs from the show, Defying Gravity, on Glee (this seems to be a theme with shows I watch lately), but didn’t actually know what it was about, or anything about the characters. I actually enjoy not knowing too much about what I am watching in advance, as all too often I read the blurb on a book cover, research a film on IMDB or watch a trailer of a new movie beforehand, and it means you already have an idea of where the story will go. Going into Wicked not knowing much about it meant that I experienced it in the moment and it took me on a journey.
I will admit, for the first say fifteen minutes of the show I thought it wasn’t for me. It was all a little bit too happy clappy and bright for me. I wasn’t sure about it, and Ed agreed when we discussed it during the interval, but then I found myself being totally drawn into the storyline and I really felt for one of the main characters, Elphaba, played by Nikki Bentley, who had a bloody incredible voice, her rendition of Defying Gravity gave me actual goosebumps, and was the perfect finale to the first act.
By the time the curtains came back up for Act Two I was totally hooked and couldn’t wait to see where the story went, although by this point I realised that it was running parallel to The Wizard of Oz, which I have seen before, so I had a bit more of an idea of what was what. I was actually really impressed with how the two stories intertwined together as the show reached its climax. I remember hating the ‘wicked’ witch of the west when I was growing up and singing along with Dorothy and her friends as they went off to see the wizard, but Wicked gave the backstory that I never knew I needed.
I won’t go into any more detail as I don’t want to ruin the show for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but seriously, if you get the chance, go and watch it. Whether you are into musicals or not, whether you know the story or not, this show is phenomenal. I have not stopped listening to the original soundtrack (with Idina Menzel playing Elphaba) since we got back from London, much to Ed’s annoyance now he has heard the songs a hundred times. Add it to your bucket list now!