Wednesday, 16 June 2010

£100 Million For Wicked

In just 3 1/2 years Wicked has taken over £100 million at the box office and unlike most shows its popularity continues to grow. With Rachel now leading an exciting new cast for 2010 I can't see that changing any time soon.

The following article was written by Alistair Smith for 'The Stage News'. He discusses this incredible acheivement with the shows executive producer Michael McCabe:

Wicked has now taken more than £100 million at the box office since opening at the West End’s Apollo Victoria in September 2006.

The musical by Stephen Schwartz, which passed the milestone last week, has now played more than 1,500 performances in London. The production currently stars Rachel Tucker, Louise Dearman and Lee Mead.

Executive producer Michael McCabe told The Stage that audiences for the musical showed no signs of tailing off. He said: “It’s still going incredibly strong. This year, we’ve already done our second and fourth highest grossing weeks of the run so far. It’s astonishing that we’re still growing - you expect to open a show at its biggest point and then gradually over the years see diminishing returns, but hopefully remain profitable. What we’re doing is still going up - that’s the real phenomenon of Wicked, it hasn’t plateaued. It just keeps on surprising us.

“When we opened, we would have loved to think, in our wildest dreams, that at the Apollo Victoria, we’d do five years. All of a sudden, we’re about to go into our fifth year with no sign of us going anywhere. That is amazing and gives you the chance to plan. We tend to plan a year ahead. We have no idea when the momentum will slow, but at the moment, it keeps on delivering.”

Earlier this year, Wicked won the Audience Award at the Oliviers. However, when it opened in 2006, it received four nominations but failed to convert any into wins.

McCabe stressed the success of the show had been based on “word of mouth” from audiences, despite mixed reviews when it first opened. He also said he felt that releasing the show’s box office figures had helped to propel its success.

He added: “We’ve always been very open about our figures. We’re very proud of the achievement and I think a lot of the time at the beginning, it was very purposeful to steer away from the industry apathy [for the show]. We thought, ‘Well, let the numbers speak for themselves’.”

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