10 reasons Wicked is still selling out London’s West End
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Wicked started its run in London’s Victoria Apollo Theatre in September 2006, and is now one of the West End’s longest running shows.
Based on the story of Elphaba and Glinda, the two famed witches from Oz, Wicked has broken box office records both sides of the pond, and for good reason.
Winner of no less than two Olivier and ten Whatsonstage.com awards, here are ten reasons why Wicked remains so popular here in the UK:
1. It’s a sort-of prequel - and who doesn’t want to learn about the history of Oz?
Telling the story of Oz before Dorothy landed in the land, Wicked shows us how the Wicked Witch of the West wasn't always as wicked as she seemed.
Fun fact: Elphaba's theme begins with the same notes as Oz's theme song 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow'.
2. The soundtrack is seriously impressive live
From the famed hits that are Defying Gravity and Popular, to the understated notes of As Long As You're Mine, the soundtrack features tracks that pack a punch and make the story that bit more memorable.
3. The theming is excellent
Forgetting the stage and it's wonderful set design, the Victoria Apollo Theatre itself is beautifully themed from the second you walk into the building. With green flooring and opulent lighting, you feel a part of a production from the second you see the bright lights of the outdoor entrance.
4. Elphaba’s story is inspiring (who doesn’t root for the underdog?)
Seeing the negative treatment of Elphaba reminds us all how important it is to be friendly to all, no matter their quirks or skin colour. Bullying is prevalent in schools, but seeing how Elphaba coped with it is an inspiration to all.
5. We get to see the Wicked Witch of the West before she was wicked
It's like seeing Voldemort before Harry Potter... aka wicked.
6. The amazing cast
The London West End cast has included stars such as Idina Menzel and Kerry Ellis.
7. Social problems are hinted at, but not at the expense of the plot
Animal cruelty? Check. Lies and corruption? Check.
8. It has a feminist, girl power message
Both the lead female characters knew what they wanted, and knew how to get it.
9. The costuming is elaborate and beautiful
From Glinda's sparkling dresses to the subtle outfits for the chorus cast, every delicate sequin makes an impression.
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