No one mourns the Wicked.
The irony is everyone is mourned by someone, even ‘The Wicked!’
When asked by my friend if I wanted to see this earlier in the year, despite having already seen it many years ago, my response was a resounding yes! I had enjoyed it so much the first time, read the book by Gregory Maguire, bought the soundtrack and now knew all the lyrics so I could sing along, that I was all up for seeing it again. Sidenote: I didn’t actually sing along that would clearly have got me chucked out of the theatre!
The opening song of this musical starts with this poignant song of ‘No One Mourns the Wicked’ and tells the tale of how the Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba in the Wizard of Oz becomes wicked. A simple enough straight forward story? Nope – it is not! Told in a charming, funny and yet thought provoking way, this production is with twists and turns and a surprise ending which I had completely forgotten about despite having watched it before.
One of the age old questions asked right at the beginning is ‘Are people born wicked?’ And so we traverse through how Elphaba the smart, fiery, emerald coloured girl (who I could totally relate to) tries to be ‘good’ and is never really given the chance to be that. Enter Glinda the insidious bubblegum blonde who eptomises what people believe is ‘good’ (or what I like to call a cop-out but I digress).
The story, songs and characters are so captivating and engaging you cannot help but love this production from the emotive songs sung, the costumes and the stage design to the interplay of the unlikely pair of friends Elphaba and Glinda. I love the interaction between these two girls and their song numbers ‘Loathing’ and ‘Popular’ provide much entertainment and laughs.
The lyrics, which I have listened to a million times over, really are stirring and when listened to carefully raise up experiences and feelings we have all had at times. The standout song is of course ‘Defying Gravity’ and it is a scene to behold.
I probably analysed this musical more than your average theatre goer but I think this is a fantastic musical, that deals with some really invocative life themes and despite its fun aspect, it truly made me reflective over the themes that run through it. It is amazing the power of music!
This year marks the show’s tenth year anniversary running at the Apollo in Victoria. It is a gravity defying show – a definite must watch and one of the best musicals to watch in London’s West End.