Friday, 6 July 2012

Do The Stars Make The Show?

Now the Daily Star might not be the first place you think of looking for reviews of your favourite west end shows but I felt a recent Wicked review by Joe Mott was worthy of a mention.

Needless to say he loved the show but it was his comment regarding leading actors that really got my attention.

The plot is solid and witty but it’s the songs and leading actors that really make this such a stonker of a show.

I've now seen a great many west end musicals, some numerous times with various different casts and although I accept to a certain extent it is down to personal preference, I feel the quality of the show can vary considerably depending on the quality of the leading actors.

Whether it's Sheridan Smith or Faye Brookes (Click on her name to check out her blog - also run by me) as Elle Woods, Ryan Molloy as Frankie Valli, Dianne Pilkington as Glinda or Rachel as Elphaba, for some those shows will never be quite the same without their favourite star in the lead.

With that in mind I'd implore everyone who loves Wicked to make sure they see the show at least one more time before our girl leaves on October 27th. Although it will always be a brilliant show for many there will only ever be one true Elphaba and that's Rachel Tucker, so you might find that Oz loses some of its magic when she's gone.

Here is the full Daily Star review:

MY travels in Theatreland just keep getting better.

Had I known how much fun you can have watching luvvies do their thing, I’d have got involved ages ago.

And so I went to see Wicked at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre.

You’ve seen the posters with the iconic green witch everywhere.

The musical tells the story of the witches from the Wizard Of Oz and is packed with great songs, humour and action.

Showcasing one of the best sets I’ve seen (a huge dragon sits atop proceedings) the story follows juvenile witches Elphaba (Wicked Witch) and Glinda (Good Witch Of The North) as they grow up through school.

While it does take some liberties with bits of the story it was spun off, Oz fans will easily recognise countless nods to the original and chuckle at the in-jokes.

The plot is solid and witty but it’s the songs and leading actors that really make this such a stonker of a show.

Rachel Tucker is magnificent as Elphaba, with a voice I would be happy to hear singing anything.

She truly puts most of the singers in today’s pop charts to shame and, on top of that, can remember her lines and act.

Rachel is a star and her rendition of Defying Gravity to close the first act was immense.

Her nemesis Glinda (sort of) is played by pretty Gina Beck who has a voice of almost operatic quality. She plays the sickly sweet good witch to perfection.

And I wholeheartedly salute my old pal Matt Willis – yes, formerly of Busted – for his performance as the young prince Fiyero.

Looking remarkably like a shaved Johnny Depp, Matt strikes a blow for the more manly love interest.

In so many fantasy shows and films, the prince is a camp, ridiculous character. But Matt brings a solid sense of rock ’n’ roll to proceedings.

Wearing exceedingly tight trousers, his tattooed arms and brooding demeanour lend a real air of menace, as well as ensuring there’s some eye candy for the ladies.

With an audience of kids, tourists and 30-somethings, this show had something for everyone. Any trip to London would only be enhanced by adding Wicked to your itinerary.

No comments: