Thursday, 11 April 2013
hello beautiful people! one of the main things i wanted to do whilst visiting london was go see a show. as i know tickets for things at the west end are very expensive, i was just expecting us to get cheap tickets for one of the less-popular shows on the day, but my mum managed to find super cheap tickets for wicked online! ah! i have been obsessed with wicked for a few years now, and have read the book, and various books about actresses experiences in wicked, and based my entire textiles a-level project on elphaba, so i was so excited when i found out i'd get to see the show!
our seats were very far back in the theatre, but the great thing about the apollo victoria is that it used to be a cinema, so it has tiered stadium-style seats and there are no 'restricted view' areas. we were really high up and it felt very vertical, like if we leaned forward we would topple down into the dress circle, but once you're sat down you didn't notice it. i think, no matter how far back you are, as long as you're fairly centred, the view will be fine.
however, you can't plan for who will sit in front of you, and i had a selection of annoying people: a man who looked like paul hollywood who was ridiculously tall, a girl who kept getting up to take phone calls in the foyer, a couple who kept putting their arms up to put on and take off various layers of clothing. so annoying, but only temporary, so i still got to see everything.
the apollo victoria is beautiful, as well. everything was lit up green and there were broomsticks and cauldrons and smoke, it looked so lovely! i'd never been to a long-running show so i'd never been to a theatre that matched the performance, it was so pretty to look at and made me super excited to actually see wicked!
oh, wicked! it was AMAZING! i can't even begin to describe it to you. i love the soundtrack so i was really excited to hear the songs live, and they so did not disappoint! louise dearman was playing elphaba and her voice was crazy! i've heard lots of elphaba's singing and their voice always falters at some point, but louise's just went on and on and on! her first big song, 'the wizard and i' brought tears to my eyes the second she starting singing, and the big finish, oh my god. (listen to one of louise's 'the wizard and i's' here)
gina beck was playing glinda, and i'll be honest and say i'd never really connected with glinda before, but she was so perfect for the role! she was bouncy and perky and so happy and adorable, i loved watching her performance. and her voice! the things she could do with her voice were ridiculous! her biggest performance, for me anyway, was 'popular'; she was so funny and charming, and i loved the song but had never seen it staged, and it was so perfect.
oh, and the costumes! after a year of studying them for my textiles coursework it was so surreal to see them on stage, especially knowing what i know about them - like, for example, seeing elphaba run around in a $20,000 act II dress! the act II dress is so beautiful in photo's and in person, and i wasn't expecting myself to fall in love with glinda's costumes as hard as i did! her first dress was bloody magical. the leading ladies costumes were fab, but my favourite moments were the scenes were it was just ensemble performers filling the stage - all of their costumes are so crazy and ridiculous, it was so exciting to look at, especially with the lights and the stage.
i had managed to gather the storyline from just listening to the soundtrack, but it was so nice to see the story between the songs. it was so funny, which i hadn't expected! (*toss toss*) oh, and while i remember, it was very strange hearing the songs in an english accent after listening to the broadway version for so long - it was very much 'darncing through life' instead 'dancing through life', which i found quite funny, although probably no one else did. i kind of didn't like it as 'dancing through life' was one of my favourite songs because of the pronounciation of the 'because dust is what we come to!' (listen here), like it's maybe my favourite part of the whole soundtrack, and it didn't happen because of the accent change. (sad face).
defying gravity was my favourite moment, as i knew it would be. louise dearman made the song sound so effortless and beautiful, i think i even preferred her version to idina's, the classic elphaba! i didn't know anything about the staging of this song either, but oh my good god, i was speechless. my sister absolutely adored it as well, apparently - this is a girl who hates musicals and only gets excited about nirvana, so that's a pretty big achievement. when elphaba took off to fly with the huge beautiful fabric flying around her, i almost burst into tears, it was so magical. i've never seen anything so amazing in my whole life!
i'm gonna be totally honest here and mention the only bad point: the first act was so amazing that there was no way that the second could ever live up to it. there, i said it! but they did bring it back at the end, with 'for good', which brought me to tears.
after reading the big complex politics of the book, i found the storyline of the show kind of dumbed down, but obviously they had to do that to fit it into two hours, and to make the plot work (the plot in the book is a bit crazy). the show neatened up all the loose edges, which i really appreciated, as i was so infuriated by the book leaving so many things unsaid. so even though the plot is kind of... basic, it had to be that way to fix the story, so it all evens out, i suppose. (but if you haven't read the book, as not everyone has, it would just seem basic, which sucks).
all in all, i absolutely adored every second of it. it was so perfect! during the curtain call, when elphaba and glinda came out to take their bows, i was just ugly-sobbing into my coat, it was that emotional for me, haha. i don't even know why i was crying but i was just like, "oh god i loved it so much!" it's probably because this is the first show that i just fell head-over-heels in love with and it was so wonderful to finally see it and i was also kind of annoyed that i can't sing so i could never be in and ah, all the emotions! there's a reason that it's the biggest show in the west end, and that's because it's bloody amazing.
have any of you guys seen wicked? i'd love to know what you thought in the comments. thank you for reading! xx