I’m a super fan. I’m one of those people that actually enjoys all the filler songs and not just the big numbers. I’m also that one that hums quietly whilst trying to hold it together (no crying this time though, just). I’ve seen Wicked many times, in different languages and with many different Elphaba/Glinda combinations but the glitter never fades for me whenever I go see it. I got some last minute tickets and (after a mad rush across Salford) we sat down to watch the touring company run through my favourite musical of all time. Glinda, played by Emily Tierny absolutely smashed it, channeling the humour of Kristin Chenoworth and the quaintness of Louise Dearman. An all round powerhouse who was the definite standout of the cast.
Elphaba was played by the understudy which was apparent in the shaky start to her big opening number Wizard and I but fortunately she pulled it back with the stunning and emotional Defying Gravity, and wowed the audience with the even more powerful seduction of No Good Deed. I get that it’s a hard role to play when there’s been some brilliant Elphaba’s before and the pressure of not one but three huge numbers for the leading lady so it was a fair effort that I commend!
The limitations of the stage makes for a slightly underwhelming Oz with the missing glittery backdrop, but the casts enthusiasm and tightness makes up for the downsizing of a touring company. I’m not sure anything will top the Louise Dearman/Rachel Tucker “golden age” as I like to call it but still a corker of a cast and will gladly go again before it ends in July!