Friday, 2 November 2012

Zoe Letley's Wicked Review

The first review of Rachel's last night in Wicked arrived in my inbox earlier this week. Many thanks to Zoe for sharing her memories of an incredible final show for the REAL Elphaba Thropp.

If any of you guys were lucky enough to be there and want to share your experiences, memories and pictures please either leave a comment or email

Like Zoe, I'd also love to hear about what I'm sure was a hilarious muck up matinee performance.

Zoe Letley - Wicked Review (Saturday 27th October)

When I arrived at the Apollo Victoria on saturday for the 19:30 performance, I couldn't help feeling very excited as well as being sad. I knew this would be Rachel's best performance and I was looking forward to it but I also knew that it was her last night and she wouldn't be returning to Oz on Monday.

Well, 19:30 arrived and the show began. When Gina came down in her bubble, a loud cheer came from the audience, me included. She looked slightly shocked because she thought as she wasn't leaving maybe she won't be the centre of attention. She couldn't have been so wrong! No one mourns the Wicked, was great as always.

When Rachel was about to come on I think the whole theatre were siting on the edge of their seats. I know I certainly was. Well, Rachel ran on and the loudest shouts and cheers and claps I have ever heard in my entire life filled the theatre. This went on for roughly 2 minutes. Rachel just stood there, laughing, and nodding, taking in all the support she had there.

The Wizard and I, was amazing!!!!!! She put so much effort into it, and her melt riff was out of this world. When this happened, everyone burst into cheering and I couldn't hear the next couple of lines to the song. But who cares, I was their to support Rachel along with the rest of the theatre. At the end of the song, Rachel had to stand there, for another 3 minutes, before the clapping and screaming had stopped to move onto the next song.

Talking about the next song, What is this Feeling was so funny. Rachel and Gina are so good together at this song, and they made it extra funny last night. When Rachel and Gina sang the line, 'Every trait, however small' Rachel was jumping about waving her arms, doing a remarkably good imtiation of Gina. Also when Gina sings the line 'Well, some things are sent to try us', Rachel laughs and does a huge bow. It was more funny than it sounds, trust me!

Dancing Through Life, was another very good song. When Matt arrived on stage, a loud cheer went up. Rachel and Matt had to wait for a couple of minutes before Rachel could say her next line. Gina and Matt singing the song together looked like they were having a good time. When the time came for Rachel to do her dance, the whole theatre did a massive cheer. And, she did a very good dance. I don't know how Rachel came make an awkward dance, so graceful. When Gina joined in, it was actually quite moving, and don't ask me why. I loved it also, when Lille Flynn asked what was in the punch and Adam Pettigrew goes ever so grumpily, 'lemons and melons and pears!'

Popular was so funny! Gina is very good at this song. There was a bit, where Gina did something so funny that I think even Rachel broke character for a while and laughed. I don't know though, because I was quite high up in the dress circle, so I am sorry if I am wrong. I loved the hair tossing, where Gina does a hude shiver and then 'toss toss', in which Rachel try's to copy and fails by endieng up on the floor. If I played Elphaba and had to do that, I would for sure break character because I would be laughing to much.

When Rachel sang 'I'm not that Girl', I was so blown away, by how vulnerable she sounded by singing that song. I had a massive lump in a throat at the end of it. Rachel came sing anything, and sound amazing. That is how much talent she has.

When Elphaba and G(a)linda meet the Wizard, I really like where Rachel and Gina both look at each other and go 'oooooooo' at each other when they hear that the Wizard tells them that he knows why they are there. It really does make me laugh every time.

Defying Gravity. How can I describe that? Wow!!!!!!!!!! I felt like screaming. Rachel was AMAZING at Defying Gravity. She is always amazing at Defying Gravity but tonight was like the cherry on top of the cake. She rose into the air with the audience cheering her on, all the way. When she sang the line, 'Look to the western sky', she treated the theatre to one of her trademark tucker growls. And the theatre loved it!!!!! I don't know how she does it, but when she sang, 'Defying gravity', she slid about 4 notes. It was just world class!!!! Then she treated the audience to another Tucker growl on the last note and boy did the audience love it. Just before the lights went out she kissed her hand and waved to the audience. I could tell she was having a great last show, and the theatre were having a great last show as well!!!!

The second half came all to soon, and Gina was amazing at Thank Goodness and We couldn't be Happier. The whole cast was putting 110% into the show tonight and it really showed. Lille Flynn was fantastic at The Wicked Witch of the East. So much power and wow!!!!

As long as you're mine was breath taking. This was for sure, Matt's best performance for this song. He isn't the best singer in the world, but saturday night, is was very good. At the end, I started crying along with the rest of the theatre, when Rachel said, 'For the last time', because it really hit home that this was Rachel's last performance and after tonight, she wasn't coming back! I think this is where Rachel started crying as well because she buried her head into Matt's shoulder for about 3 minutes before she could speak again.

The 'catfight' between Rachel and Gina was so funny as normal......I loved it when Rachel spits out with so much venom, 'Well, we can't all come and go by Bubble'. It is so powerful and funny. Then, when Gina slaps Rachel and Rachel does her witch cackle for the last time. She got a huge cheer for that. Finally the last bit in this scene that I loved, is where Matt swang on stage like, Tarzan. It was quite funny!

No Good Deed was amazing!!!!!! Rachel sounded so angry, when she sang this song. And her Fiyero riff. Well, no words can describe how I felt when I heard it. People were screaming and crying and cheering Rachel on, because she was world class on saturday night. I didn't think people could do anything like what Rachel did on Saturday!!!

For Good with Gina was so emotional. This was Rachel's last proper song in Wicked and you could tell by her voice, that she was getting quite upset. But it didn't ruin her performance a single bit. It made it better. The small scene before they actually sing For Good, when Gina (Glinda) said she would tell Oz how everything Elphaba (Rachel) was blamed for, was her fault, was so upseting. This is because when Rachel said 'Promise me', her voice cracked so much. That set me off crying even more than I was before. When they started to sing For Good, Gina started crying as well, which was emotional because both amazing singers were both crying. At the end of the song, and they gave each other hugs, it looked like they didn't want to let go of each other.

The melting scene was so sad. Just before Rachel went behind the curtain to 'melt', she turned to the audience and waved. She was crying, I was crying, the whole theatre was crying. Her melting cry was very funny. Rachel took longer to melt than normal, but that was understandable. It was her last show and it was nearly over. Gina was crying as well when it came to the melting scene, which made it even more upsetting.

The finale, was the saddest bit of the actual show. When Rachel said to Matt, 'We can never come back to Oz, can we?', the audience was it tears. Well, I was in tears. Because what Rachel had said was true. She CAN NEVER come back to Oz and that is still so hard to imagine. She looked up at Gina and waved just before she turned around and walked to the back of the stage. Just before she walked through the clock, she turned back to the audience, and waved once more. The audience was in manic. People was screaming, sobbing, cheering. No one wanted Rachel to leave. But then she turned around and walked off the stage. The lights went down and the show was over.

However just because the show was over doesn't mean that the audience had finished screaming. The screaming went on until the curtains went back up and then curtain call began. Rachel's speech was so emotional/humble/amazing! She thanked everyone and told everyone that the role of Elphaba was going to be in safe hands because a best mate of hers, Louise Dearman, was taking over the role from monday evening. Then the curtain went down. And that was the show.

2 and a half hours had passed to fast and Rachel was no longer Elphaba. It was so hard to think about that from monday Louise Dearman would be Elphaba. Don't get me wrong, I think Louise will be amazing at Elphaba, but personally Rachel will always be my Elphie.

I went to the stage door, but I had to leave before Rachel came out. I was annoyed at missing Rachel, but I got to meet Nikki, Chloe, Adam, Lillie. Gina. Matt and lots of other people.

Rachel if you are reading this, you are amazing, you will always be Elphaba in my eyes, good luck with your baby and good luck for the many shows you have ahead of you, who will be lucky to have you!!!! xx

Ps. If anyone went to the muck up show on Saturday please can you email me what funny bits and bits they had changed for the show. My email is Thank you so much!!! Xr


Anonymous said...

Wow Zoe your review made me cry,it's so good!!I was there and I think you described perfectly everything that happened that night!!

I loved how the audience supported Rachel during the entire performance and I was crying all the time, especially when she did those little things "for us", like giving the kiss or saying "for the last time"..
As you said she will always be my Elphie too and she'll always had a special place in my heart, since I can say that this musical really changed my life.
Thanks Rachel!

Julia Schobert said...

Your review is so good and makes me cry!!! First, because Rachel left (I still can't believe it!) Second, because I so so so wish I could have been there! Thanks for the review, it all sounds so amazing! x