Wicked, currently greenifying the stage at the Sydney Lyric, is a musical that needs no introduction. Its enchanting tale of friendship, betrayal, and the untold story of the Wicked Witch of the West has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide. While the show’s plot remains as captivating as ever, it’s worth pondering the curse of cookie-cutter productions that can sometimes stifle innovation.
The story follows the unlikely friendship between Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch, and Glinda the Good as they navigate the complexities of Oz. It’s a tale of societal prejudice and the power of personal transformation, wrapped in a vivid world of magic and intrigue.
One refreshing departure from the traditional show was the casting choices for Madame Morrible and The Wizard. Typically, Madame Morrible is portrayed as a traditionally sung role, but Robyn Nevin broke the mould with her performance, acting the guts out of the character. This new interpretation added depth and complexity to the character, making her more memorable than ever. Similarly, Todd McKenny’s portrayal of The Wizard as a sung role was a triumph, adding layers of nuance to his dislikeable yet strangely likeable character.
Sheridan Adams, who took on the challenging role of Elphaba, delivered a solid vocal performance, with her rendition of “As Long As You’re Mine” standing out as a highlight. Her chemistry with the rest of the cast, particularly Courtney Monsma’s Glinda, was palpable. Just as in Fantasy Football, I, too, build my fantasy casts of musicals, and Courtney Monsma has claimed her place as my Glinda. It’s incredible how a role can shine when you’re a genuine triple threat.
However, even the most talented cast can be let down by technical issues, and Sydney Lyric’s recurring sound problems were a noticeable distraction. It’s disheartening that this was the third visit in a row where the sound quality failed to match the calibre of the performers. Such issues can disrupt the audience’s immersion and detract from the overall experience.
Another concern is the vocal health of the young cast members. Some performers appeared to be struggling with their voices by the end of Act 2, a worrying sign given the demands of an eight-show week. The company should prioritise the well-being of its actors to ensure consistently stellar performances.
Wicked remains a magical and captivating experience for first-time viewers, with its dazzling sets and powerful storytelling. For those who have seen it before, it’s a gentle reminder of why they fell in love with the show in the first place. Don’t miss your chance to be part of the magic – book your tickets now and let the enchantment unfold before your eyes!
– The other Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig is an international performer and has established himself as a trusted theatre specialist on the Sydney Arts Scene. While he understands the technical side of theatre, Dan writes for the everyday theatregoer (unlike some of those more prominent publications). When not in the audience, he loves to travel the world trying new gin. Follow him on all the socials @talldancraig
Wicked runs for 2 hours 45 mins (including 15 min interval) and plays at the Sydney Lyric through 31 December 2023. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were guests of IP Publicity
Image credit: Jeff Busby.