REVIEW: ‘Phenomenal’ Wicked dazzles crowds at Bristol Hippodrome

PUBLISHED: 13:00 02 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:12 05 February 2018

A previous cast of Wicked.

A previous cast of Wicked.

Archant

One of the most popular musicals to hit Broadway and the West End came to Bristol this week and it blew the audience away last night (Tuesday).

A previous cast perform Defying Gravity. A previous cast perform Defying Gravity.

Wicked impressed from the opening note to the closing bow and is unlike anything else I have ever had the pleasure of watching before.

The show which won 10 WhatsOnStage Awards, which are voted for by the public, premiered at the Bristol Hippodrome on Wednesday and has been performed to a packed theatre each night since.

The story follows Elphaba, a young witch who is trying to make it in a world where she stands out from the crowd – and not necessarily in the best of ways.

This production stands as a prequel and alternative point-of-view to the Wizard Of Oz and reveals how the Wicked Witch of the West came to be.

The devilishly-wicked Elphaba. The devilishly-wicked Elphaba.

Elphaba (played by Amy Ross) is an enchanting character who is having trouble fitting in thanks to her green skin and spiky personality, and wow does Ross carry off this persona well.

I could go on for days about Ross’ raw talent; her voice is simply incredible, as showcased in her solo I’m Not That Girl.

But her shining moment was her rendition of Defying Gravity. With the support of Glinda (Helen Woolf) and the company, the leading ladies made the musical’s most famous song a show-stopper.

The partnership between Ross and Woolf was a high-note of the performance for me.

Aaron Sidwell smoulders as Fiyero being bewitched by Amy Ross as Elphaba. Aaron Sidwell smoulders as Fiyero being bewitched by Amy Ross as Elphaba.

Not only did their voices mesh brilliantly together but they bounced off each other and made the relationship between the fictional ‘best friends’ believable.

Woolf was another stand-out star of the show – she had the crowd laughing along and made sure to embed her character’s cheery, jokey and sickly-sweet personality into every word, lyric and dance move.

Every musical needs a heart-throb and this one was played by EastEnders star Aaron Sidwell who took on the role as the leading ladies’ love interest Fiyero.

On a stage of professional singers, Sidwell did not look out of place with an amazing vocal performance including Dancing Through Life and his duet As Long As You’re Mine with Ross, and a realistic and loveable bad-boy-turned-good character.

Amy Ross shines as Elphaba. Amy Ross shines as Elphaba.

But no leading cast would be complete without a company and the fact the audience were on their feet as the first members of the group took to the stage should tell you everything you need to know.

This company were spectacular with each individual showcasing their personality through their character and their talent through their songs and steps.

Something also has to be said for the production team; the set, lighting, costumes and choreography were incredibly well thought out and took the show to another level – it felt like I had been transported to Oz.

This phenomenal show is a must-see and you have until March 3 to head to the Hippodrome, in Augustines Parade, to watch it.

Glinda and Fiyero share a tender moment. Glinda and Fiyero share a tender moment.

Tickets start at £22.50 and can be booked from the theatre’s website or by calling 08448 713012.

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