Having been on Broadway for over 20 years, Wicked is still one of the most popular choices when seeing a musical at the local theatre. The third UK tour production still  holds up to its name and shows no sign of compromise in any areas.

At first glance, the show seems like just a twist on the classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz story originally written by L. Frank Baum as a commentary on the American Ideal. This musical version is based on Gregory Maguire’s take on Oz, managing to balance highlighting some of the darker themes alongside the whimsical look and feel of a techni-colour dream. Over time, the more serious undertones this show addresses in the aftermath of Covid and the #MeToo era, have only become more prevalent.

The aesthetics can not be understated. Beautiful kaleidoscopic constructed costumes designed by Susan Hilferty represent the accentuated style of this world. Aside from Elphaba, played by Laura Pick, who stands out in every way. So much care and attention to detail has been made to costume and set designs by Eugene Lee to convey the characters’ personalities and how they change over the course of the tale.

This amazingly high standard can also be found in the talent of the cast. Pick and Sarah O’Connor (Glinda) compliment each others’ characters through their contrasting singing styles – Elphaba is sassy and powerful while Glinda is delicate yet striking. Both lean into the more playful sides of their roles and it is obvious to tell they have a great friendship off-stage which carries over into their onstage presence.

Carl Man does a fantastic job at keeping up with his two love interests, holding his own during his stand-out duets Dancing Through Life and As Long As You’re Mine. His dance moves are especially fluid and fun to witness.

Donna Berlin brings a wicked sense of humour to her role as Madame Morrible which the audience respond well to, making her noticeably harder to dislike than other renditions of the character.

The control each individual cast member has over their singing is magic to watch and hear, both voices and live band working in perfect harmony to portray the emotion of Stephen Schwartz’s lyrics. No matter who your eyes are drawn to, each cast member gives their all keeping their energy, movement and voice up to elevate the entire show.

Wicked is a show that on the surface comes across as a playful fancy but like the two main characters who carry the story, has great depth and contrasting ideologies, building on the enduring original tale. A show that contains both style and substance and will have you leaving the theatre ‘changed for good’.