Having missed the opportunity to see Wicked with its original cast on Broadway and having seen Kerry Ellis perform as Elphaba on the West End, I was full of nervous excitement at seeing the UK and Ireland Touring performance at Manchester’s Palace Theatre. Glinda and Elphaba have become heroines to thousands and I was anxious this performance wouldn’t match up, after all Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel have left huge ruby slippers to fill.
I’m delighted to say that Nikki Davis-Jones as Elphaba and Emily Tierney as Glinda more than held their own. Emily Tierney brought heart and humour to Glinda, whilst Nikki Davis-Jones brought a feisty determinedness to Elphaba.
Based on the book of the same name by Gregory Maguire, at its heart Wicked is the tale of two women who through their differences and opposing worldviews, love rivalry and political struggles become the unlikeliest of friends. Alternatively, it’s how the wicked witch, the lion, the tin man and the scarecrow came into being!!
With music composed by Oscar and Grammy winner Stephen Schwartz, the wizard behind the music for Disney’s Enchanted and Pocahontas, songs from the show like Defying Gravity and Popular have entered the popular consciousness and ensure the two and a half hours of the show zip by.
Fabulous emerald sets and quirkily fantastic costumes ensure a great evening for all the family (although some scenes may be a little frightening for younger audience members). I went with my mum who isn’t a huge musical theatre fan and she thoroughly enjoyed it, moreover, I am a musical theatre nut and found this touring production to be on a par with any you will see in the West End.