What Wicked Means to Me

5 years ago, my mum took me to see a little show called Wicked, and despite going to see other shows at the theatre this is the one that struck a chord and really changed me for good. 💚

When I saw the show and fell in love, I fell fast – and I’m not the only one! Over the years I’ve talked to so many people and we all became fans by the same magic reason, this show just has something about it that hooks people in and it’s quite amazing to be part of a fandom like this. 

2012 was the year I saw the show the most, I dread to think how much money I spent on tickets and merchandise, how many hours I spent on the steps by the box office dayseating for front row tickets and how many hours I’ve spent in the theatre itself! I’m gutted I’ve genuinely lost count of the number of times I’ve seen the show, but perhaps it’s for the best I don’t remember!

In 5 years I’ve watched Wicked in London, Milton Keynes, Edinburgh, Manchester and New York City, so only a few places 😉 

Despite having chilled out a lot in the last couple years, I’ve had the joy of watching some incredible talent on the Apollo Victoria stage; including, of course, fantastic Elphabas and Galindas. 

elphie

Top Row | Rachel Tucker, Nikki Davis-Jones, Michelle Pentecost, Louise Dearman, Hayley Gallivan Bottom Row | Kerry Ellis, Jennifer DiNoia, Willemijn Verkaik, Emma Hatton, Jacqueline Hughes

My favourite is, naturally, Rachel Tucker, she was my OG and definitely the Elphaba I’ve seen most. I was also lucky enough to see her a week into her run in Wicked on Broadway, one of the happiest coincidences ever! There’s something so raw about her performance as Elphie, you can’t help but love her. It helps that she also has an incredible voice paired with a lovely personality – she’s one of the most down to earth and kindest people to meet! 

Another wonderful thing about having been a Wicked fangirl has been watching how some performers have flourished during their time in the show. It’s been amazing to see Nikki Davis-Jones go from standby Elphaba in London to wow’ing audiences as the principle lead in Wicked’s first UK tour, and similarly Emma Hatton going from London’s standby to lead in the show. 

Even more impressive is Jacqueline Hughes’ story with Wicked. When I first saw the show she was a swing (able to jump in for multiple roles at a moment’s notice), and I’d occasionally get to see her in the role of Midwife, or more excitingly, Madame Morrible. She then went on to the Elphaba ladder, and left the London production only to join the UK tour as standby Elphaba. Now, she’s leading the show on an international tour which is just amazing to think, isn’t it?! She started out as one of the unsung heroes in the show (swings are never given enough credit, imo) and now she’s fully making her mark on Wicked’s history. I’m getting a bit emosh writing this, not gonna lie! It’s quite the honour to have seen her soar in this show.

Pun intended.

glinda

Top Row | Gina Beck, Chloe Taylor, Lucy van Gasse, Sophie Linder-Lee, Suzie Mathers Bottom Row | Carina Gillespie, Emily Tierney, Savannah Stevenson, Kara Linsday

Elphaba isn’t the only big deal in Wicked, we can’t forget Miss Galinda! Again here are some of the girls I’ve been lucky enough to see in the role, there are more but sadly no photos of them exist on Google! 

I think it’s a shame, because the Elphaba’s always get so much love and I feel sometimes the Galinda’s are forgotten about but honestly some of my favourite moments in the show are from Galinda, especially if the actress absolutely nails the performance. The character gets some stunning moments of true emotion as well as bounds of humour, and vocally the role is beautiful one second and harrowing the next! Honestly, essays could easily be written about these characters. In fact, I’m sure they already exist 😂

Anyway. To go back to my experiences of this show! Wicked really did change my life, as crazy as it sounds. It definitely got me going into London more, exploring more theatre, making loads of new friends and experiences, and opportunities too!

14359513_157180501397174_1101524062_nI won’t bore you too much with delving into the past, but recently in particular I’ve had some pretty cool experiences to do with Wicked. Notably, one of my favourites was getting to visit the London YouTube Space for an event in conjunction with the 10th Anniversary – it included a Q&A session with the cast, being able to get up close and personal with Elphaba’s Act 2 dress and Glinda’s Bubble Dress plus props, and also witness a current Elphaba understudy getting the green make up put on for the 1st time! It was an awesome experience and I did a blog and vlog on it if you’d like to see what happened.  

Coincidentally, photographing the Green process was actually on my theatre bucket-list so it was awesome to kind of tick that off the list! 

In September we also had the 10th Anniversary of the show which was a wonderful celebration. I’m thrilled I was able to be there despite the nightmare of trying to get tickets, and they definitely could’ve done more in terms of celebrations on the night itself when you see what other shows have done recently but it was a special night regardless. 

Another Wicked highlight is something that happened in 2012: I went backstage 😎 It was such a cool experience and I won’t talk about it too much here as I want to make a video on it, but trust me when I say it was awesome.

It’s kind of surreal, thinking just now how the show celebrated ten years in the West End and I’ve been lucky enough to witness half of those years. I mean, wow! The time really feels like it’s flown, and while there have been some seriously low moments as well in the last five years, I’m seriously grateful to have this show, the people in it and the people I’ve come to know from it in my life. All these elements have been seriously impacting on my life and continue to be so – it’s weird to think what my life would be without them. 

Here’s to being a mad Wicked fangirl ✌🏼

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