Winner of 90 international awards, Wicked has cast its magical spell over audiences of all ages across the world for a decade and continues to be a record-breaking hit at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, where, as of 2013, it has become the 16th longest-running West End musical of all time.
Packed with thrilling technical wizardry, dazzling costumes, an ingenious and witty story and show-stopping songs (by multi Grammy® and Academy Award® winner Stephen Schwartz), Wicked is an unforgettable, enchanting experience that is not to be missed.
'One of the most popular West End musicals ever'. (Evening Standard)
'The perfect choice for a spellbinding night out.' (Daily Mail)
Conversation with London's longest serving 'Elphaba' Rachel Tucker
Since opening on Broadway in 2004, Wicked has taken the world of musical theatre by storm. Despite receiving mixed notices after opening, critical opinion has proved secondary to the audience's attachment to the production, which has only continued to grow as the musical opens productions all over the world. The London production, which continues to run at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in the West End has now entered the ranks of London's long-running shows, and has become a standard London show alongside the likes of The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables.
It's hard to put your finger on exactly why the show has been so successful in London, but thanks to loyal fans who return to the show time and time again, as well as visitors to London choosing the production as part of their London experience, the show shows no sign of slowing down. Following her Tony Award win for Best Actress in a Musical, original Elphaba Idina Menzel opened the show in London, and has since gone on to become an internationally recognisable star thanks to the success of Disney's 'Frozen' and the now iconic song "Let It Go". Since then, the role of Elphaba has been one of the most coveted roles in musical theatre, with British actresses such as Kerry Ellis, Alexia Khadime, Louise Dearman and Rachel Tucker each taking on the role.
Belfast born Rachel Tucker recently headed over to New York to reprise the role of Elphaba on Broadway, which is an accolade reserved only for the finest stage performers. We recently caught up with the star to ask her about the production, and what it felt like to return to the role, after previously being the longest running London Elphaba. "I had two and a half weeks of rehearsals" she laughs, "I'd say after about four days I could have gone on. I then had another two weeks to fine tune, which was great. It's very unusual that you know a part as well as this. People don't often go back and re-visit parts. It's unusual and nice to already have it under my belt and automatically start to focus on detail."
The role of Elphaba is a particularly exciting one for any performer, and it's one that brings with it its own set of challenges. Not only do you have to sing the majority of a very difficult score, but you have to cope with the physical demands including flying out over the stage to end the first act. "My favourite part of the role changes" says Tucker, "at the moment I'm loving the transition, when something does change in Elphaba. I'm loving finding that each night. It's around the time when Madame Morrible shouts out: "She's a Wicked Witch!" - just before 'Defying Gravity.' It would be so easy just to go on and sing 'Defying Gravity' - it's now a classic and everyone knows it - but to really make people hear it, as opposed to singing along with it, that's part of my challenge every night - to really make people listen to it and hear what I'm saying."
Wicked the Musical Film
Following the success of the stage production, it is only natural that fans have questioned whether a film version of the musical is on the cards. Earlier in 2015 we spoke to the Producer of the show Marc Platt, and asked him when fans can expect to see Wicked on the big screen:
"The process and development of the movie has begun in earnest and it will happen when the material is at a place where we feel, as the creators, that the adaptation of it will be as satisfying as a film as it is in a theatre. That could be tomorrow or it could be a year from now - I don't know the answer to that, it IS in the process, we have just set the bar really high. We're not shooting to a release date - we want the film to be unique and satisfying as the stage experience which is still terribly successful."
It has been revealed that Stephen Daldry, the director of such films as 'Billy Elliot', 'The Reader', and 'Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close' has been attached to the film version of Wicked for the past couple of years. Original book writer Winnie Holzman is also on board to write the screenplay, and Producers are making sure that all the vital elements come together to make it the best version of the film that it could possibly be.
Whilst we wait with baited breath to see a Hollywood film version, we're happy enough seeing the production once again at the Apollo Victoria.
Book your Wicked tickets, playing at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in London, today.