REVIEW: ‘Wicked’, The Lowry, Salford

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Ever wondered what happened to the Wicked Witch of the West in the wonderful land of Oz at the end of the Yellow Brick Road?

Of course you haven’t; unless that is you read and were inspired by Gregory Maguire’s book “Wicked: The Life And Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.”

What a genius idea and what a wicked result 20 years on that the musical that evolved from that book is still packing in the crowds the world over.

“Wicked” the musical arrived at the Lowry in Salford last night with the emerald carpet taking over the red carpet with stars of stage and screen – including Corrie’s Jennie McAlpine and Sally Dyvenor and Corrie and “The Royal Family’s” Sue Johnson among the opening night audience.

The opening show was a standout triumph fully deserving of its standing ovation; and it runs until July 25th so climb on those broomsticks and get yourself there.

If you haven’t seen this show in the West End a 45-minute journey down the motorway is an absolute must because it is the final leg of a multi record-breaking UK and Ireland tour.

This cornucopia of colour is magical, mysterious, funny and so so entertaining.

My husband, who is not particularly a musical lover, was absolutely enthralled, entertained and amazed at the sheer professionalism and perfection of this show that tells the untold story of the Witches of Oz.

I didn’t tell him it has been described as “the ultimate Broadway experience for theatre audiences in the UK” and has sold almost 1.5 million tickets since its British premiere in 2013, but he wouldn’t have been surprised.

“Wicked” stars Ashleigh Gray (Elphaba), Emily Tierney (Glinda), Samuel Edwards (Fiyero), Marilyn Cutts (Madame Morrible), Carina Gillespie (Nessarose) and Richard Vincent (Boq). And it is nice to see East Lancashire’s own Steven Pinder so impressive as The Wizard and Doctor Dillamond. I still remember him from his Brookside days but it is interesting to see that he has gone on to do so much more theatre work since then.

“Wicked” has music and fabulously funny lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, is directed by Joe Mantello and has everything you could ask for in a musical. Jaw-dropping costumes, amazing sets and special effects, an intriguing storyline, fairytale and magic. Truly awesome. Truly wicked.

See it at The Lowry until July 25th. Call the box office on 0843 208 6000.