Despite Covid-19, last week I was fortunate enough to travel to the Apollo Victorian Theatre in London to see the musical Wicked. Wicked completely re-imagines the land of OZ, frequently reversing the roles of the villain and the heroin.

Wicked acts as the prequel to the wizard of OZ and explores in depth the events that led up to the creation of the Wicked Witch of the West. As the audience, we are first introduced to Elphaba and Glinda (the protagonists) when they are mere university students – One rich, pretty, and popular: the other green, magical, and gifted.

For me, the highlight of the musical was the music and lyrics, in Particular the song Defying Gravity, in which Elphaba runs away from the emerald city and abandons the wizard. Throughout both acts, the audience repeatedly encounters the unlimited motif (a musical device in which a musical section or phrase is repeated throughout a piece) which helped create anticipation in the audience, whilst making the developing musical ideas seem more seamless. All the music and Lyrics fall to the hard work of Stephan Schwartz. Schwartz is well known in the music industry with contributions to Disney’s Pocahontas, the hunchback of Notre Dame, and he even wrote the song for Dreamwork’s The Prince of Egypt. His awards include three Academy Awards, four Grammy awards, and the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award. Schwartz has even been given a star in Hollywood’s walk of fame in recognition of his talent and achievements.

From an acting perspective, I was left speechless by the quality of acting demonstrated on stage, not to mention the experience some of these actors had accumulated over the years. My personal favourite out of all the actors had to be Alistair Brammer, who played Fiyero, as he was able to perfectly capture the complex emotions of a man in love with two separate people throughout the expanse of the musical. Also, many audience members were able to recognize him from some of his previous musicals such as his part as Chris in Miss Saigon; Enjolras in Les Misérables, and Hair in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.