Apollo Victoria Theatre, London, Saturday matinee 23.06.2007.
Wicked was actually the most positive theatre experience I had in London. The theatre is modern and the seat was pretty good, though I still needed binoculars, and no one was eating or chatting near me, so all in all I could almost perfectly concentrate on the musical. It's actually funny that there were lots of kids and teenagers in the theatre and they behaved better than the middle-aged people in Phantom.
I knew the story beforehand so I pretty much knew what to expect, but some details still managed to surprise me. Before I actually saw the show I was disappointed of how fluffy the musical seemed to be despite its dark themes, but to my great joy they had changed the most idiotic jokes in London (or at least I think so. I can't remember the jokes but I got the *facepalm* reaction only two or three times in the theatre.). Wicked is probably the only American musical I like, I find the story mostly even interesting and the music catchy. Even the irritating songs like Something Bad, Wonderful and Sentimental Man didn't annoy me nearly at all in the theatre.
Apart from the Wizard and Fiyero I saw the first cast and the actors impressed me. Kerry Ellis has a wonderful voice, and after hearing her as Elphaba Idina Menzel seems to be screaming too much, which makes me hope that there'd be a London cast recording. Helen Dallimore as Glinda was good as well, though the character is every now and then a bit too stupid and stereotypical blonde to be really believable. I had the same problem with Fiyero but he got more sense rather quickly. Besides, Oliver Tompsett was quite cute as Fiyero... I've got no complaints about the rest of the cast, either, and they managed to create a real good atmosphere into the theatre.
I loved the sets and costumes. I adore colours in general and they had used them very nicely, and there were interesting details everywhere. I wish I had sat closer to the stage. I didn't get the point of the giant dragon over the stage or the clock theme, and I still didn't get them after reading the novel.
All in all I enjoyed the show a lot and can easily understand why it has so many fans. It isn't a perfect musical but good enough. I was even back then a bit too old for it, so the more teenager-like parts like radical need to save the world and hot boys in school weren't really for me. Nevertheless, a couple of hours spent with a good-quality show.