I’ve never felt more out of place than I have done this past hour. I treated myself to a First Class train ticket for my return journey from London. It was £4 more than standard class and you get the luxury of free Wi-Fi… Who wouldn’t spend the extra dollar? I arrived at London Euston forty five minutes too early like I seem to do with every journey I make alone. Being early is not a trait I usually possess as proved by my punctuality at college. I decided to take advantage of the first class lounge at Euston where people questioned my presence with their regular glances. Is a seventeen year old girl wearing flowery docs such an unusual sight in first class? I’m currently on the train surrounded by business men and women with designer Michael Kors handbags and there’s me sat in front of a Wicked souvenir programme. I’m not complaining though; I’ve had five free drinks, a chicken sandwich, a packet of nuts, some pretzels and chocolate.
I’ve had the most wicked day. Literally. I took a kind of spontaneous trip to London. Spontaneous in the sense that Angel and I were going to meet up to see a show that we could get tickets for on the day. I applied for the Kinky Boots lottery in the morning only to find out that I had won three minutes before the tickets were released for someone else to claim. Gutted didn’t even cover it.
I met Angel in Trafalgar Square which is probably the worst meeting point. It’s so crowded and big that it is so hard to track someone’s whereabouts. We also met with Ellie (finally!) after two years of speaking on Twitter. She was so lovely!! We went to the Theatre Cafe in Shaftesbury Avenue; I’ve said it before but it is truly heaven for musical theatre lovers. The Theatre Cafe are also linked with London Theatre Bookings and Angel and I managed to get last minute centre stalls tickets for WICKED!!! We paid £44 for a £70.25 ticket. What a bargain!
I’ve religiously listened to the Wicked soundtrack and could probably recite every word so it was truly a dream come true to have seen Wicked… In the flesh. I loved it. It was so strange to finally watch the music and see the staging evolve around it. Magical.
Fundamentally, Wicked tells the untold story of the Witches of Oz who form a beautiful and rather endearing friendship. Elphaba and G(a)linda couldn’t be any more different from each other; G(a)linda is blonde, shallow and impulsive and Elphaba is misunderstood, intelligent… and green. Rejected by her family and society for her emerald skin and blamed for her sister’s disability, Elphaba is forced to be a social outcast making her demeanour seem cold. The first act shares the story of them meeting at University and making unlikely alliances whereas the second act, we learn what happens ‘behind-the-scenes’ when Dorothy follows the yellow brick road to meet the Wizard. It’s a story of acceptance, responsibility, power and love.
We were sat in Row U, Seats 24 and 25. Initially, I assumed the seats would have been at the back following the conventions of an average theatre however, they were extremely centre. The theatre is huge. In fact, we were only sat four rows behind the premium seats. The interior of the theatre and the set design are truly astonishing. Even the safety curtain is beautiful. I fell in love.
Emma Hatton played the role of Elphaba and she is a truly formidable actress. With it being my first time seeing this phenomenon, I didn’t know what to expect with having the Original Broadway Cast recording as my only reference to the musical. I imagined actresses playing Elphaba to be extremely reserved; saving themselves for Defying Gravity, the iconic song. Emma Hatton owned the role straightaway making each song her own with her individual flare. Oh, I loved her performance. She is a true powerhouse of a performer and her rendition of iconic songs such as Defying Gravity and No Good Deed were astonishing. I couldn’t imagine a greater Elphaba for my first ever Wicked performance.
Savannah Stevenson portrayed the character of G(a)linda and was truly outstanding. Her vocals are amazing and yet her comical moments were delivered brilliantly. Her performance of Popular was bursting with life making it difficult for my face to not reside in a massive grin. Her transition between acts from being ditzy and blonde to heartbroken and suffering was beautifully executed allowing the audience to fully connect with G(a)linda. Her voice is so effortless; it was a joy to watch.
Oliver Savile took on the role of Fiyero and used his charm instantly to make the character seem likeable. His Fiyero is handsome and quirky and his performance of Dancing Through Life was superb. He is extremely light on his feet and an absolute pleasure to have watched.
I hope to return to the Apollo Theatre next month to see this masterpiece in action once more. I simply cannot wait.