Saturday, 18 April 2015

Wicked at Sunderland Empire

I love musical theatre, the songs, the ensemble the brilliance of a live show. But more than any others, Wicked is my favourite. 

It's a very personal story but Wicked was one of the things that helped me through my breakdown recovery. The story and the music resonated very deeply with me, I cherish everything about it and as some of you may know I even have a Wicked tattoo- "Everyone deserves the chance to fly" from defying gravity on my left foot.

I saw the musical in London 4 years ago,  and didn't think I would again any time soon. But it came to my hometown this month and my parents very generously bought Az and I tickets to see it as part of my birthday gift last month. So I've waited on tenterhooks for a month, though I imagine some have felt this way for a year, and the day finally came on Wednesday!

I was worried that the tour wouldn't be as great as the London show, but its even better than I remember. I'm not sure if they've added details from the book or I just missed them last time (having not read it then) but it certainly seems to have more substance and less onus just on the relationship of Elphaba, Glinda and Fiyero, its more about feeling and sadness. I still wish here was more about the Animal problem though, as there is in the book.

For those who haven't seen Wicked, it focuses on the back story of the two witched from Wizard of Oz- Glinda and Elphaba- and their lives before and around Dororthy's visit. it completely reimagines the story, making Elphie the good and you see the Wizard in a completely different light! Interspersed are incredibly moving songs, which of course I cried during. A highlight for me, as with many fans, was Defying Gravity. I wont spoil it for others but god it is incredible! I didn't just cry, I could barely breathe I was shaking so much, an old man next to me asked if I was ok!

 I didn't find out til after that Elphaba was played by the stand in Jackie Hughes, who was outstanding along with Emily Tierney playing Glinda and Sam Edwards as Fiyero the main characters really came to life. The supporting cast- Marilyn Cutts (Madame Morrible), Steven Pinder (The Wizard and Dr Dillamond), Richard Vincent (Boq) and Carina Gillespie (Nessarose) were just as strong as the main actors. The ensemble were so tight and on pointe, not a person out of place or missing a cue. And the costumes and set were exquisite for a touring production, better than the ones I remember.

I have to say though I wasn't impressed at people talking throughout the performance, I know there were kids in the audience but it was adults drowning out a very important part of the show.

Some random things I loved
♥ Fiyero getting the giggles and laughing behind his gun  Half our section realising The Wizard was Max from the old soap Brookside  The amazing emerald city costumes  The super fans who were dressed as witches  Remembering every word and trying to silently sing along  kids experiencing Wicked for the first time  Glinda's impression of Morrible reminding me of Cheryl being Malory Archer 

I loved Wicked so much, it meant a lot to get to see it again.

Who can say if I have changed for the better but;
Because I knew you, 
Because I knew you
I have been changed for good

Image credits 1, 2, 3, 4 


  1. Fab review - it was my first time and I had no idea what to expect. It is definitely one of the best shows I've seen - the voices, acting, story, stage production, set, dancing.....all second to none! Heidi (5) loved the opening scene with Glinda in her glass ball with all her bubbles - I loved 'Gravity' and 'Popular'. Disappointed there were no Superfans on the night of our visit! It was nice to learn where the tin man, lion and scarecrow came from xx

    1. I'm glad you and Heidi loved it, i was worried some scenes would be a bit scary for her!

  2. Ahhh I absolutely love Wicked! So many of my friends went to see it in Sunderland too, and have been posting all over Facebook about it. I've had to hold back the green eyed monster a bit! This is such a great review! x

    Olivia's Notebook

  3. I'm obsessed with the soundtrack but I've yet to see the stage show, I really need to! It sounds amazing, and I love that you have a Wicked tattoo :) xx


  4. Wicked is one of my favourite musicals! I absolutely love it! Defying Gravity is one of my favourite songs!

  5. I love wicked, I love the empire, I love theatre, I hate people who talk it bugs me soooo much and is do disrespectful to performers


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