Thursday, 25 November 2010

Another Wicked Day For Andy

Have I used that title before? Probably, but I've seen Wicked so many times now I know I'm going to start repeating myself.

This was a bonus trip really. I was actually going to London on Tuesday to watch my football team - Bristol Rovers - play at Charlton. It was a night match so I stayed at a Travelodge in Whyteleafe. Not ideal but the closest I could find with a reasonable price at short notice. It was about 20 miles from Charlton and roughly the same distance from Victoria.

I had purchased tickets to the Wednesday matinee performance of Wicked and my plan was to get there early enough to catch Rachel going in. Unfortunately the traffic getting in to central London was horrendous and by the time I actually found somewhere to park and ran to the theatre it was nearly 2:00pm. 3 hours to travel 20 miles, I don't know how people put up with that every day. Anyway, I knew I was too late so I didn't even bother going to the stage door.

I was delighted to see that Sarah Earnshaw was on as Glinda because as I've mentioned before I actually prefer her to Louise and it will probably be the last time I see her before she leaves in February.

My seat was in Row C of the stalls, 5 seats in from the right. A great view at a very fair price of £27.50. The only scenery you can't see is the yellow brick road.

I was actually sat next to a group of school kids - probably aged 8-10 - who were lucky enough to be on a day trip to the Apollo Victoria. I was a bit concerned they might play up but I needn't have worried. From the moment Sarah came down on her bubble they were transfixed by the wonder of the show.

Being a matinee I wondered whether the cast would hold back a little knowing they'd have to do it all again at 7:30pm but there was no sign of that. I really don't know where they get their energy from.

Sarah was even funnier than I remembered and her BALL GOWN screech probably caused a localised earthquake. I think because she has been there so long she just seems to know exactly how to play every scene and like Rachel, she never switches off, even when Glinda is in the background she'll be swinging her handbag or flicking her dress in all the right places. Little things but they do make a difference.

I love Sarah and will miss her when she leaves but as always Rachel was the star of the show. I actually found myself welling up during 'The Wizard and I', 'Defying Gravity, and 'No Good Deed' such was the power and feeling behind her vocals. Every time I see her she just seems to get better and better. I think it's probably because unless you're actually there watching the show you can't believe just how amazingly special this lady is.

Her on stage chemistry with Sarah was incredible, especially when you consider they have limited opportunities to perform together. 'Loathing' was hilarious and their 'For Good' was the most heart felt I've seen.

I wouldn't want to be responsible for casting the next Elphaba because how do you replace someone like Rachel. The simple answer is, you can't. Thankfully we don't have to worry about that for at least another 12 month's.

After the show I did walk down to the stage door. I knew I wouldn't see Rachel but I thought I might catch a couple of cast members. I waited about 10 minutes when Cassie Compton - NessaRose - actually approached the stage door from the other side of the road. She had obviously got out pretty sharpish after the matinee and was returning with something to eat. I told her how much I enjoyed the show and asked her to pass on my best wishes to Rachel.

Then it was back to the car for the long drive home.


In other news - Rachel will be performing at Lee Meads Christmas Concert at the London Coliseum on Sunday 19th December. One of our readers - Alice - was kind enough to send us this information and the below link to Lee Meads website which has a few more details about the show.

Lee Meads Website

Box Office: 0871 911 0200

Book Online: Link


Finally, I came across these excellent pictures from Wicked day showing Rachel in that stunning t-shirt which ended up selling for £410.00. The EBay auction actually raised a staggering £4519.47 for the Woodlands Trust.


Dan said...

omg she's singing at his concert?!
damn.... cos i'm not really prepared to sit through a whole concert of Lee lol

i kinda hope they just do 'as long as you're mine'

Stephanie said...

What a shame you missed Rachel at stage door because of the traffic!

The pics from Wicked day are lovely!

I go to see the show on December 4th for the second time! I can hardly wait. I really hope I got to see and talk Rachel at stage door!

Anonymous said...

Hi Andy
We enjoyed hearing about your latest trip to Wicked. Sorry you missed Rachel :(
Those seats sound great for £27.50 we will definately try and get those next time. We agree totally that Rachel is irreplaceable as Elphaba. So happy she is staying until next year. Planning our 4th trip soon ;)
Sarah tweeted on the 22nd that it was her last week in the bubble. Maybe you saw one of her last shows? Lucy Newton also tweeted that she is going to be in Priscilla. Any ideas who will be Glinda when Lousie is off? Just wondering.
Jessica & Lindsay

Rachael.Hughes said...

Im kinda sad I have never seen Sarah as Glinda she sounds great!
I can't wait to plan another trip!
Rachel is amazing!
I was watching some old footage of Rachel before Wicked and I can't believe how natural her performances have become.
She was always a great singer but in her IDA days her eyes were so intense they used to scare me a little, now she has so much more emotion in her performance but without the scaryness lol She makes it look so natural and real! When she leaves someone will have some mighty big shoes to fill!
Go Team Tucker!

Andy said...

I don't think they've announced who'll take over from Sarah as the stand-by Glinda yet. I'm still hoping they might agree to let her perform on her last day -5th Feb - and if they do. I'll be there.

Speaking to other Wicked fans I know I'm not alone in being a little annoyed they didn't give her the lead when Dianne left. Sarah is an original cast member and was surely the obvious replacement. I don't blame her for leaving, escpecially now Louise has extended her contract. She is insanely talented an deserves to be in a lead role somewhere.

They haven't announced the new Boq or NessaRose yet either but the news has leaked that Mark Evans will take over from Lee Mead as Fiyero.

I always take one of those £27.50 seats now. You miss very little of the stage scenary and are close enough to se every facial expression. The seat right next to me on the left was £62.50. I normally buy them from Tickmaster because you get to choose your specific seat but there is a additional charge of £2.25.

Anonymous said...

Hi Andy
Do you know the exact seat numbers of those £27.50 seats? I will make a note of them for next time. We saw Sarah as Glinda and she was fantastic. Hope she does get to perform on the 5th Feb. We will not be able to go but look forward to hearing all about it from you;)
Would love to have seen Lucy too:(
Lindsay & Jessica

Irene said...

Good news that Rachel is joining Lee Mead and Niamh Perry for his Christmas concert on 19 December! I really enjoyed Lee's concert at Buxton Opera House a couple of months ago and had already bought tickets for the London Coliseum concert but Rachel as well is a big bonus. I'm sure she'll have at least one or two solos and maybe some Christmas songs with Lee and Niamh? Should be a fun night :)

Andy said...

Hi Lindsay & Jessica,

There are various seats available at the lower price. They are called restricted view but as I said, you actually miss very little of the scenary and unless you're right on the end of a row, none of the action.

Seats worth considering are:

Row B, Seats 11-14 (£27.50)
Row B, Seats 36-38 (£15.00)
Row C, Seats 10-13 (£27.50)
Row C, Seats 36-37 (£22.50)
Row C, Seats 38-39 (£15.00)
Row D, Seats 09-12 (£27.50)
Row D, Seats 36-37 (£22.50)
Row D, Seats 38-40 (£15.00)
Row E, Seats 08-11 (£27.50)
Row E, Seats 36-37 (£32.50)
Row E, Seats 38-39 (£22.50)
Row E, Seats 40-41 (£15.00)

If you're looking at the stalls from the stage, seats with the higher numbers are on the far right and they're cheaper because you view is slightly more restricted by the spiral staircase. The low numbered seats are on the far left.

If you google Apollo Victoria seating plan you'll see exactly where they are.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Andy. That's really helpful ;)
Lindsay & Jessica

Stephanie said...

Hey everyone,

I have a suggestion! What would you think about going to see another Wicked show, but all together this time :-)(team Tucker), especially to see Rachel of course! Not immediately, but somewhere in March or April. We can make our own green t-shirt with a beautiful picture of Rachel and the text "We love Rachel!". I can't wait to see Rachel's face when we stand there all together with the same t-shirt, wonderful! And Rachel can sign our t-shirts afterwards. Let me know what you people think about this idea :-)! A nice trip with great people!

Stephanie (from Belgium)

Andy said...

That's a nice idea Stephanie and it is something we've tried to do in the past.

About 10 of us met up at Rachel's opening night in 'We Will Rock You' and just a few less when she appeared as Scaramouche for the first time.

However, it has proven difficult to find dates that suit everyone and at least one planned trip had to be cancelled.

It would be nice to meet up with everyone again next year though and we could certainly do a post at some stage to see who might be interested.

March and April aren't actually good month's for me, June would probably be fine.

Remind me in the new year sometime if I haven't done the post.

Stephanie said...

Yes, it would be very nice to meet up with a few people, but indeed it's difficult to find dates that suit everyone!
It's definitely a good idea to do a post at some stage to see who might be interested! June is also good for me, but only in the weekend because it's not possible to come to London during the week if you live in Belgium :-)!
The idea of the t-shirt must become reality :-)!
I'm in!!!


Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie
That's a lovely idea. We met girl called Hannah through this blog and she is in the USA. We are trying to arrange to see Wicked with her this summer when she is in England again. It would be great if a group of us could all meet up then ;)
Lindsay & Jessica

Stephanie said...

Hi Jessica and Lindsay,

that's a great idea :-)! The summer is a good period for me to take a few days off from work.
I hope it will succeed! This Saturday I go to London to see Wicked for the second time, can't wait!


Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie
We hope you have a wonderful time on Saturday. Wish we could go too :(
Hope you can write a review for the blog ;) Would be really interested to hear all about it.
Lindsay & Jessica

Stephanie said...

I will definitely try to write a review for the blog, but it will not be that easy for me because I'm a "Dutch" girl from Belgium :-)! I will probably need somebody to read through it and make any slight adjustments that are necessary!


Anonymous said...

Your english is excellent. Please do a review. I would be happy to read through it for you.
Are you ready for your trip on Saturday? Not sure about central London but the rest of England has lots of snow. Hope you can still get here ok. Have the most wonderful time.
Lindsay & Jessica

Stephanie said...

Ok, I will do :-)!
I'm totally ready for my trip to London, soooo excited! I hope there will be no big problems with the train, I'll check the website of the Eurostar before my departure. Normally we catch the early train that leaves at 6.59am from Brussels (Belgian time)! Departure from Oostende (that's where I live) at 4.35am :-S. We will arive at London by 8am.
Here in Belgium also a lot of snow and very cold!
I'll send you my review when it's ready!


Stephanie said...

Hi Jess,

I had a wonderful time in London! There were some problems with the trains so we arrived in London at 11 am in stead of 8 am. Rachel was amazing, as always! It was fantastic to talk with her.
I will write my review as soon as possible. Can I send it to you when it's ready? Do you have an email?



Andy said...

I'd be happy to post your review on the blog Stephanie.

Just send it to me in an email