Theatre review: Wicked – Palace Theatre, Manchester

This incredible re-imagining of the story of the witches of Oz has flown its way into Manchester during the most magical time of the year – ending months of building excitement for me.

Wicked has landed at Manchester’s Palace Theatre and, being my favourite show, I leapt at the chance to see and review it.

Let me tell you as earnestly as I can… IT WAS INCREDIBLE!

This was my third time seeing Wicked and it gets better for me every time. I’m so involved in those Ozians’ lives and that emotional investment only adds to how brilliant the show is.

If you want to know the real story of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good, and how they earned their respective titles – deservingly or not – you simply must see this musical.

If you have any reservations about seeing touring shows and think seeing the show in its home in London or New York will somehow be better, please reconsider, because Wicked in Manchester had me feeling every single feeling and my heart is so full! The show is absolutely spellbinding.

This production deserves all of the awards: for stage design, set pieces and special effects.

From the moment you sit down and peruse the map of Oz and then see the Time Dragon Clock looming above, you’re gripped, drawn in and buzzing with what’s to come.

If you’ve read any of my previous theatre reviews you’ll know I always get attached to certain cast members for one or all of three reasons: how attractive they are (I’m shallow), how well they belt out notes and how strong their vibrato is. Well I swear to Jesus, I’m in love with every single member of this cast. They nailed everything: primate choreography – flawless; choral singing about being glad someone is dead – perfect; wearing every shade of green and looking cute as hell – nailed it!

I need to give massive shout-outs to Helen Woolf and Amy Ross as Glinda and Elphaba. They were stunning and delightful! Helen’s delivery of ‘Popular’ absolutely killed me, and Amy’s ‘The Wizard And I’ gave me the chills. Their on-stage chemistry was so fiery and reactive, it was genuinely heart-warming.

And hello Steven Pinder, who filled the sexiest of riding boots belonging to Fiyero – help me, lawd! Those biceps!

Sorry, I’m getting distracted.

As the driving wedge between Glinda and Elphaba, and the absolute dish that he is, he was perfect.

I need to mention Kim Ismay also. Madame Morrible was absolutely dreadful – I hated her and simultaneously loved her. Flawless execution! Brava, Kim!

In conclusion, you should go see Wicked. Book your tickets right this second and go wait outside the theatre until your showing starts. If you have children, get rid of them. Work commitments? Quit your job. Umm, family celebration like a birthday or funeral – cancel it; you didn’t like them anyway. I don’t want to hear any excuses. Go see Wicked.

Tickets are available on the ATG website and Wicked is running at the Palace Theatre until Saturday, 5th January. Go see it.

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