Wicked at Birmingham Hippodrome

Birmingham Hippodrome’s CEO Fiona Allan is proud to say that Birmingham Hippodrome brings the West End to the West Midlands. Not for the first time, she’s every right to say this as Wicked landed at the world class Birmingham Hippodrome with huge applause.

by Julie Wallis twitter.com/nicenic63

Wicked at Birmingham Hippodrome

#Brumhour was lucky enough to attend award winning smash-hit musical Wicked last night. Wicked is at Birmingham Hippodrome until Sunday 29th April, but you will need to check daily for returns if you want to see it, as it has already sold out!

Wicked is the tale of the Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba (Amy Ross) and Good Witch, Glinda (Helen Woolf) of their friendship and the unfortunate circumstances that led to Elphaba being labelled as wicked, when she was just misunderstood.

Wicked UK Ireland Tour 2018_Amy Ross (Elphaba)_Photo by Matt Crockett_DSC_9171_RT
Amy Ross (Elphaba) Photo by Matt Crockett

Set in a time before, during and after the familiar story of The Wizard of Oz, this tale by Gregory Maguire has been seen by 55 million people and it’s easy to understand its success once you see this for yourself.

The cast are fabulous! To see Steven Pinder as a talking goat and for him to be unrecognisable as the same man who plays The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, heck, he’s barely recognisable as a man when he has his horns, whiskers and hoofs on! Or to see a gathering of flying monkeys that actually do fly, Jack Harrison-Cooper made for the most realistic of flying monkeys last night. Amy Ross commands the stage as Elphaba, vulnerable with a huge powerful voice. Glinda, the good witch (Helen Woolf) with her perky cheer and girlie charm. Glinda could give Barbie a run for her money when it comes to fashion, as she arrives onstage in a bubble. Which brings me neatly on to the costumes which are breathtakingly beautiful.

Helen Woolf (Glinda) Photo by Matt Crockett
Helen Woolf (Glinda) Photo by Matt Crockett

Costume designer Susan Hilferty gives us the most vibrant, steampunk-ish, eccentric, other worldly, amazing outfits I have ever had the joy to see. #BrumHour Dave and I even got up close and personal to a few of the actors in their outfits, and the attention to detail on each of the bespoke designs was stunning, and the variety of costumes too, it’s the best wardrobe I have ever seen on stage.

Aaron Sidwell plays love interest and hero, Fiyero. Not only does he have dreamy, Prince Charming look, our hero Fiyero has a good heart and the ability to love the Elphaba based on what’s inside, not just on her looks. Fiyero is not only handsome and charming, he is obviously clever enough to be able to see what is happening in the chaos leading up to Elphaba being mislabelled as the Wicked Witch of the West. Another great cast choice, Aaron looks every inch the part with his chiseled features and sounds terrific when he duets with Elphaba on As Long As Your Mine.

Aaron Sidwell (Fiyero) Photo by Matt Crockett
Aaron Sidwell (Fiyero) Photo by Matt Crockett

Now on to the bit you’ve all been waiting for. The songs. This was not my first time of seeing Wicked, I did see it in London around 2011 but I didn’t really read the programme so I had no idea of the songwriting team behind this Tony® award winning music when I said to Brumhour Dave “I find the songs very Disney-esq” because Stephen Schwartz, who wrote the music and lyrics was also the man behind several Disney and Dreamworks films. Add to that, the original Broadway Elphaba was played by Idina Menzel of Frozen fame and my imagined Disney-ness made sense.

Act one, we have the likes of Popular, No one mourns the Wicked and the end of act one finished with the song everybody knows, Defying Gravity. Act two gave us March of the Witch Hunters, Wonderful and No Good Deed, amongst many others.

Aaron Sidwell (Fiyero) and Amy Ross (Elphaba) Photo by Matt Crockett
Aaron Sidwell (Fiyero) and Amy Ross (Elphaba) Photo by Matt Crockett

Seamless set changes take us from Glinda’s dorm at university to the Wicked Witch’s castle filled with flying monkeys to the Wonderful Wizards giant talking head, which is in itself possibly one of the most awesome pieces of scenery I have ever seen. You will believe you are in the magical land of Oz. The wonderful orchestra, the amazing and very atmospheric lighting and rest of the cast who all played blinders. It’s easy to understand why Wicked is still playing to sold out audiences in its 15th year of production.

Wicked is at Birmingham Hippodrome until Sunday 29th April. Nearly All tickets are SOLD OUT. So check for daily returns: birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/wicked/


This isn’t a sponsored post. Julie and Dave #BrumHour were invited to see Wicked by Birmingham Hippodrome.

Julie blogs as RedandGoldWeb here: redandgoldweb.wordpress.com

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