Candice: Last week I was lucky enough to be taken to see Wicked, the musical. For those of you who have not heard of it, it’s a show about what happens before the story of the Wizard of Oz, they are both based on books, the original by L. Frank Baum in 1900 and the prequel by Gregory Maguire in 1995. The story explains why the Wicked Witch of the West is so wicked.
Its an interesting concept, a prequel. This is not the first or last person to take a famous story and put their own spin on it. Even ‘Fifty shades of Grey’ is a prequel and re-imagine of the Twilight saga. However, this is a musical interpretation. I’m not normally a big fan of musicals, I find the songs get in the way of the story. However, this was very well done and I felt that the songs just added to it rather than being a filler. In fact, I have to say I loved the whole thing as it was very funny and had tongue firmly placed in cheek.
I won’t give the whole story away but the premise is Elphaba is born different (green in colour) and then is hated by her family and doesnt have any friends. Her father worships her sister, Nessarose, who is confined to a wheelchair by being delivered early. Their mother has died giving birth to her.
They both get sent to a girl’s boarding school, mainly so Elphaba can look after her sister. But she comes into her own as she has socery skills that are admired by her teachers and she makes friends with the most popular girl in the school. She comes to the attention of the Wizard and is invited to meet him. But he tricks her and then things go very sour. I won’
t say anymore but its a clever idea especially as the second half of the show continues and you see how this story connects to the next. The red shoes, the scarecrow, tin man and lion all appear.
The story has some undertones as it touches on bullying, how your colour influences how people treat you and how propaganda can make lies the truth. Its interesting, as I think alot of people enjoy the show for what it is and might miss these references, but hopefully young children can see that even being green doesnt mean that you cant be friends with everyone.
It made me want to watch the original film again as I have forgotten some of the story. I like that idea, going back and looking at something again with different eyes. I’ll probably have to wait until Christmas to see the film again but I shall look out for in the listings.