Apollo Victoria Theatre
17 Wilton Road, London
Previewed: 7 September 2006
Opened: 27 September 2006
Booking up to: 23 May 2020
Buy tickets:Buy tickets online
Nearest Tube: Victoria
Monday at 7.30pm
Tuesday at 7.30pm
Wednesday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Thursday at 7.30pm
Friday at 7.30pm
Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sunday no show
Runs 2 hours and 45 minutes including one interval
£? to £?
Premium Seating also available
(plus booking fees if applicable)
Telling the untold story of the witches of Oz - the musical Wicked in London - now in it's remarkable eighth year in the West End.
Long before Dorothy dropped in, two other girls meet in the Land of Oz... One, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How did these two unlikely friends end up as the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch? Find out at the London Premiere of the award-winning Broadway musical Wicked!
Wicked the Musical is written by Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman and is based on the best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire and is directed by Joe Mantello. This show is recommended for children aged 8 and above. Stephen Schwartz's West End musicals include Children of Eden at the Prince Edward Theatre in 1991.
When this production opened Nicholas de Jongh in the London Evening Standard highlighted that "it is the spectacle, the experience of a magical mystery tour through the fantasy land of Oz that takes and holds attention," concluding by saying that "Joe Mantello's production expertly marshals this remarkable kaleidoscope of magical shocks, surprises and sensations. Wicked works like a dream." Alastair Macaulay in the Financial Times wrote that "the story is in fact inventive and suspenseful. And really it's a soft-hearted story about learning to see through appearances: perfect and popular Glinda must learn compassion; green-faced Elphie will be the one who does most good." Charles Spencer in the Daily Telegraph commented that "it is apparently especially favoured by adolescent girls and watching this unexpectedly witty, enjoyable though far from flawless show it's easy to see why... Winnie Holzman's script keeps the gags coming as it cleverly subverts the film that spawned it. And Joe Mantello's production, on a Heath Robinsonish design by Eugene Lee, is packed with spectacular coups de theatre and some magical lighting effects by Kenneth Posner... it proves far more enjoyable than I had dared to hope, and deserves a wider audience than adolescent schoolgirls" and in the Daily Express Sheridan Morley thought that it was "a vast and spectacular stage event."
"Joe Mantello's production works on a number of levels - as blockbuster family entertainment and, thanks to Stephen Schwartz's Sondheimian lyrics, sophisticated comedy and even thought-provoking drama. It's sexy, sassy and sensational... Glinda's beau Fiyero may assert that 'life's more painless for the brainless', but it's still a magnificent thing to see a musical that manages to be both populist and intelligent at the same time." The Sunday Telegraph
"On Broadway, Stephen Schwartz's Wicked is a phenomenon. It has scooped three Tonys and a Grammy and, three years on, it's still packing them in. Last week the lavish, £7 million show flew in to London and it's anything but spellbinding. The score is insipid, the production witless, charmless, brainless and tedious. After almost three hours of drivel, I remained immune to its magic. Indeed, I almost lost the will to live. Wicked claims to be the prequel to the Wizard Of Oz... An incoherent plot attempts to examine what makes some people good and others wicked, and how to look at things in a new way. Glinda and Elphaba fall for the same guy, Flyero, and the Wizard of Oz turns out to be vile to animals and far from wonderful." The Mail on Sunday
"There is already one, fairly well-known, musical set in the land of Oz, and perhaps the most telling thing about Wicked the Musical is that it gets its biggest laughs simply by quoting its predecessor... Telling a complicated story was obviously the priority. Stephen Schwartz's songs are at their sharpest when they concentrate on doing that, and at their flabbiest when they're supposed to be stopping the show. Luckily, Wicked the Musical picks up such emotional and narrative momentum that even the latter numbers punch above their mawkish, metaphor-larded weight. This show often succeeds only by defying its own musical limitations, but succeed it certainly does." The Sunday Times
Gregory Maguire, the writer of the novel on which Wicked the Musical is based: "In Wicked - the novel first, and now the musical - the Wicked Witch of the West has a name: Elphaba. It's pronounced El-phaba - a name derived from the initials of the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: Lyman Frank Baum, L.F.B., Elphaba. I set out to tell her story from beginning to end. I wanted not so much to explain the Wicked Witch of the West as to deepen her mystery... When Stephen Schwartz approached me with the notion of turning Wicked into a musical play, I needed much less persuading than I let on. As a college student I had taught myself to play the piano from the scores of Pippin and Godspell. Stephen saw the comic and the melodramatic possibilities in my sprawling slice-of-Oz-history novel, and he promised that however the plot evolved to suit the stage, the grim themes of the novel would inform the show... Winnie Holzman, who wrote the book of the musical, has honoured the intentions of the original and made Wicked her own. Galinda still becomes Glinda, Elphaba becomes the Witch, and they both grow up concerned about each other and their world, in ways that slyly derive from the novel but are enchanted into something else again."
Wicked in London at the Victoria Palace Theatre previewed from 7 September 2006 and opened on 27 September 2006.