BWW Feature: WICKED Stars Discuss the Magic of the Show
The West End production of Wicked, the untold story of the Witches of Oz, recently celebrated its 13th birthday. BroadwayWorld spoke to the resident Elphaba (Nikki Bentley), Glinda (Helen Woolf) and Fiyero (Alistair Brammer) about why they think the show is still magic.
Woolf sparkles in the show as Glinda. She believes the story and the visual aspects of the production are at the heart of the show's success. "I think it's just an incredible story. It's got a story of love and a story of friendship. Who doesn't want those things?
"I think with the way the world is, not trying to sound political, the themes of acceptance and being true to who you are, are such huge things. So many people can relate to that in this day and age."
"Plus, I think everything about the costumes and set is so big and bold. It's just one of those shows that, even for people who aren't into musical theatre, they still love it."
London's current green girl, Bentley, agrees that the plot of Wicked is universal. "The story will always be relevant. That's what's really beautiful about this show. The narrative, from when the show opened, to now, will always be something people can relate to. It's just a wonderful story of friendship, love, acceptance, being true to who you are and believing in yourself."
Brammer plays Fiyero, the carefree Winkie Prince who has an impact on both witches' lives. He praises the music as part of the show's success. "For starters, Stephen Schwartz's score is incredible. But also, I just think the story is timeless. We've all had friendships, and it's all about the love of two friends, and everyone can relate to it. You leave it changed.
"You can try your best to make it fit into the current politics, but theatre always does, even Les Miserables. I think it's more to do with the general themes. It's not about politics; it's a story about two people. That narrative is what has resonated so well with the world and always will."
The principals also commented on how "For Good", one of the final numbers in the show, is a vital part of the story. Brammer thinks it's a beautiful moment. "They're singing it as they're going their separate ways. It's that last time they get to tell each other how they feel, and it's beautiful."
Bentley particularly enjoys singing the duet with Woolf. "It's something Helen and I share so well together every single day. The song always fills me with emotion. I love it."
Woolf agrees that the penultimate number really is something special. "What I love about that song is it's just so beautiful and simple. You've seen the staging. We don't do anything. We just stand there and sing these wonderful words to each other.
"The song is the heartbeat of our show. We are different people because we knew each other, and that's what makes this show so incredible."
From the opening fanfare to the final chord, Wicked continues to defy gravity eight times a week as it flies into its 14th year in London.
Wicked currently booking at the Apollo Victoria until 23 May, 2020
Photo credit: Matt Crockett