Wicked, The Lowry, Salford, Until July 25
If you fancy a Wicked night out head for The Lowry.
Currently playing at the Salford venue, this musical 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 region.
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 funny lines with sheer style and excellent timing as Glinda The Good, the glamorous student keen to demonstrate the perfect hair tossing routine and other “essential” skills to the outcast Elphaba, her new and unexpected friend
The musical looks at the back stories of 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 entertained in a show that has fittingly become something of a legend in its own lifetime.