Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Wicked Witch of the West End

I have never really got on with musicals.  Either sing a song or tell a story; don't try to do both.  Nonetheless, to earn some man-points I whisked my other half up to London to see Wicked, the musical history of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz.  I enjoyed it rather more than I expected to, although given the same starting point I might have done something rather darker with it.

Elphaba is the classic outsider (the green skin is something of a giveaway here) as, like Harry Potter, she is packed off to sorcery school where she is not immediately popular.  Particularly antagonistic is Glinda, who grows up to be the Good Witch of the South.  Here, though, she starts out spoiled and self-obsessed.  Eventually they become friends, but Elphaba, who is not really wicked at all, uses her powers to correct injustice, before concluding "no good deed goes unpunished".  Eventually she runs off with...we'll, you'll have to see the show to find out.  The plot amusingly reinterprets some of the much-loved tropes of the film, and the songs (once you accept they aren't meant to advance the story) are enjoyable interludes.

If you can stomach paying £3 for a minuscule tub of ice-cream, Wicked is an undemanding but very entertaining thrre hours.

6 comments:

Matt Curran said...

Hi Tim
Sarah loved the novel and I've threatened several times to take her to see it in London but parenthood has intervened since. But on this recommendation I might see to getting a babysitter for a weekend and organise a romantic couple of days in the capital - minus the minuscule tub ice-cream that is!

Tim Stretton said...

It's a nice trip - I'd recommend it!

Frances Garrood said...

My daughter's seen it three times, and loves it. Maybe I will go after all. (Re the tub of ice cream, the way to get (more for) your £3 worth is to run your little wooden spoon round the edge, flat to the sides, and work your way gradually inwards. I've done this since childhood, and it makes it last longer.)

Tim Stretton said...

Good tip on the ice-cream, Frances!

I'd see it again, so maybe I'll get the chance to use it.

C. N. Nevets said...

The most interesting thing about this post is the idea of eating ice cream at a musical.

It's like another world over there.

Tim Stretton said...

What, if anything, is the de rigeur snack at a US musical? Anything other than ice-cream is surely heretical!