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Publishing Newspaper: The London Paper
Date: 28th September 2006
Author: Jack Malvern
Photo Credit: Tristram Kenton

Bring the sickbag

It is a curious start to a show when the main character first appears as a foam-rubber baby delivered by a midwife resembling a goat in a smock.

But so begins Wicked, a revisionist history of The Wizard of Oz in which the Wicked Witch of the East* is a virtuous animal rights activist smeared by an authoritarian state. High concept at this sounds, it is really only window dressing for a slickly produced love story designed to catch audiences in search of high production values and a few belting show tunes.

It will be a crowd-pleaser, but anyone with less than a passing acquaintance with Dorothy will frequently reach for the sickbag.

Idina Menzel is the green-skinned Elphaba, a swot whose friendship with the prom queen is tested when she is branded a villain. The two must also eventually deal with the arrival of a little girl from Kansas.

*Yes, I know it says East and not West, I'm just copying what the paper printed!

Article © London Paper/Jack Malvernn, 2006

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