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Saturday, 20 October 2018

Wicked | Mayflower Southampton

Wicked... it's one of those musicals that everyone and their mother seems to have seen. Except me, that is. Somehow, I've managed to avoid seeing it on stage, or even any clips online. I knew a few words to "Defying Gravity" and that was it. So, when the invitation to join the Southampton Bloggers at the newly refurbished Mayflower Theatre to watch this masterpiece of a show, there was no way I could turn it down. And boy am I grateful for the opportunity. It has quite possibly become one of my favourite shows.

I was already in a state of wonder walking into the newly renovated theatre, which was only heightened once the performance began. The theatre is now a glorious deep shade of red, which feels incredibly luxurious. Accompanied by some new seating, you almost feel like you're in a different theatre. It really is stunning.

Image courtesy of Mayflower Theatre
As soon as we took I seats, my eyes were instantly drawn to the gorgeous Wicked curtain (a map of Oz and the surrounding areas) and the imposing dragon above the stage. Now, like many other newbies, all I knew about the green protagonist was the story of the Wicked Witch of the West that I'd been told by The Wizard of Oz. But the story of Wicked could not be further from this...

Set before the classic tale, we meet Elphaba and Glinda as they join Shiz University as sorcery students. They form an unlikely friendship, one that you really don't see coming, but that is really sweet. The most breathtaking moment had to be when Amy Ross, playing Elphaba, was flying high and singing "Defying Gravity" just before the interval. She totally owned this iconic role, and belted out the only song I knew beforehand like I'd never heard before. She was amazing, as were the rest of the cast. The vocals on Helen Woolf were unbelievable, and she played the ditzy character of Glinda really well. Most surprising for me was Aaron Sidwell in the role of Fiyero. I knew of Sidwell from his role as Steven Beale in Eastenders, but never imagined that he'd have the singing ability that he has. He was great!

Image courtesy of Mayflower Theatre
Image courtesy of Mayflower Theatre
Image courtesy of Mayflower Theatre
Overall, I was really impressed with the show. I walked away with a totally different perspective of Elphaba - maybe she's not as wicked as I once was led to believe. I absolutely loved it. What a way for The Mayflower to really celebrate its reopening.

Image courtesy of Mayflower Theatre
If you would like to see Wicked before it flies out of Southampton, you can book tickets online or by calling the Box Office on 02380 711811. The show is in town until the 27th October.

Image courtesy of Mayflower Theatre
*As always, a huge thank you to The Mayflower Theatre and Southampton Bloggers for giving me this opportunity. My ticket was complimentary in return for my honest review. All views and opinions are my own.

Love Lexie

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