Review: If you fancy a Wicked night out head for The Lowry.
The musical offering currently playing at the Salford venue offers light hearted entertainment combined with a clear message questioning preconceptions about the nature of good and evil.
Wicked’s opening night gained a standing ovation, with a plot and numbers obviously well known to and loved by many of the fans who had turned out to welcome the show back to the north west.
In addition to the stars who commanded applause it is the fabulous costumes and tremendous stage sets which shine brightly.
Songs such as “Popular” resounded triumphantly and the show worked its magic as the audience began to feel empathy and understanding for the green Wicked Witch of the West Elphaba, played by the talented Ashleigh Gray.
Emily Tierney meanwhile delivered her laughter provoking lines with sheer style and excellent timing as Glinda The Good, the glamorous sorcery student who is keen to demonstrate the perfect hair tossing routine and other “essential” skills to the outcast Elphaba, her new and unexpected friend
The world renowned musical - now the 10th longest running show in London’s West End - takes a closer look at the back stories of key characters from Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, hence its full title Wicked The Untold Story of The Witches of Oz
.Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz it is a seamless extravaganza with love interest, humour aplenty, pathos and revenge as well as a happy ending.
Marilyn Cutts as Madambe Morrible and Steven Pinder as both Doctor Dillamond and the Wonderful Wizard of Oz also delivered memorable performances.
At times a few of the words of songs proved hard to make out and in the initial numbers it sounded as though some notes were harder to reach than others, but generally it was a faultless production.
I would have liked more exuberance in the dancing. But this musical is of a gentler genre and there is more than enough to keep all age groups amply entertained in a show that has fittingly become something of a legend in its own lifetime.
Wicked runs at The Lowry until July 25. Tickets priced £18 to £75.