Tuesday, 30 March 2010
A Wicked Night !!
It’s difficult to know where to start but first off let me just say that Rachel should be very, very proud of herself after a tremendous debut performance as Elphaba.
I didn’t get to the theatre until about 7:15pm after missing my intended bus but I thought I’d beaten David to it as there was no sign of him when I arrived. However as the crowds in the foyer started to thin I spotted him waiting near the other entrance. He’d actually managed to sneak into the stalls without a ticket – naughty boy - but had come back out to let me know.
This was my 7th visit to the Appollo Victoria to see this incredible show but knowing Rachel was waiting back stage I felt a kind of nervous excitement I can only compare to watching my football team in the play off final. Luckily I managed to control things better than I did that day otherwise I’d have spent half the show on the toilet. I made do with a visit at the interval on this occasion. Sorry, that’s probably a little too much information.
Wicked lost a sensational performer on the Saturday when Dianne Pilkington made her final appearance as Glinda before leaving to join the cast of ’39 Steps’ but fortunately the show now has a new star and her name is Rachel Tucker. There was a roar from the crowd when she ran onto the stage for the first time in her school girl uniform, ponytail and glasses. I think she was born to play this part and in my opinion what followed just proved that to be true.
She did look a little green but I put that down to nerves lol.
I’ve seen 3 different Elphaba’s and Rachel’s singing was superb and easily on par with the others but like Dianne it’s her acting that sets her apart. She managed to add that Tucker magic to every scene; particularly ‘What is this Feeling?’ which thanks to her, has now become my favourite scene in the show. If she was nervous she certainly didn’t show it and clearly didn’t need to be. There can’t be a more demanding role in musical theatre but she belted out numbers like ‘The Wizard and I’, ‘Defying Gravity’ and ‘No Good Deed’ with consummate ease; breathtaking really.
It’s hard for me to describe just how fantastic she was, so all I’d suggest is that anyone who hasn’t already booked tickets to see the show, does so very soon. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
I know this review is on the short side but I've only just returned from London and I’m only home for a few hours before heading off to the Lake District and Carlisle; which is why David didn't think I'd be able to post anything until later in the week. However I'm not now due back until Easter Monday and I decided with my memory it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to leave my write up until then. I thought a short review would be better than no review at all. Rosie was apparently going to the show on both the 29th and 30th so I’m sure she’ll give a more detailed account soon, so watch this space.
I want to take this opportunity to say how nice it was to see David and his family again. Who knows, next time we meet it could be on Broadway. It was also great to meet David's lovely friend Victoria – I’m praying I’ve got your name right, my memory really is awful – who clearly has fantastic taste as she is not only a massive fan of Rachel but also Dianne Pilkington and it was from her that I found out Dianne was starting in ’39 Steps’ at the end of April.
Lastly, as I wasn't able to go to the stage door, I hope Rachel gets chance to read the below message:
Congratulations Rachel on a faultless debut performance. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get to see you after the show but I want you to know how truly amazing I thought you were. To take on a role like Elphaba and perform like that on your opening night is nothing short of remarkable. I didn’t think I could love ‘Wicked’ any more than I already did but thanks to you, I do, and I’m already counting the days until my next visit. Chow for now.