Wicked: How it reignited my love for theatre

15 March 2022

Let’s be honest, the pandemic has put us all through a lot, some more than others.

With years spent not connecting with our friends, family and the world around us, our focus on survival might have taken more away from us than we realised.

It wasn’t until my visit to the Apollo Theatre to see the worldwide success of a musical called Wicked that I felt I was given back this little spark I didn’t know I needed.

At first, I thought it would be great fun to see a show but secretly I was already imagining myself back at home with the door locked so that nothing, fun or virus, could get in.

Until they started singing.

Within moments I was reminded of the joys of theatre and entertainment. Starting with their first musical number “No One Mourns The Wicked” the night was off to a magical start… or should I say wicked?

An opening to remember

Moments in and they were singing in cheer: “good news, she’s dead, the witch of the west is dead”.

As they danced gleefully in celebration of the passing of the Wicked Witch of the west, I was already excited and at the edge of my seat. The choreography that filled the stage, the lighting artistically painting the scene, the fog that caused an air of mystique to permeate the theatre.

This was the complicated essence of theatre and storytelling that so many of us have not been able to experience for such a long time.

Of course, the fun didn’t end there. There were still 19 more catchy songs that had yet to bless my ears. And throughout each song, dance or scene I would be further drawn into the story thanks to the help of the skilful performers on stage as well as those working behind the scenes.

The magic of theatre

Throughout the entire performance I continued to notice the little moments that made the magical masterpiece come to life.

First, the bubble Glinda uses to get around. How does one represent a method of transport that can only exist in the imagination to thousands of viewers live on stage?

Later it was Elphaba’s bold display of magic lifting her up into the air. How does one “Defy Gravity”?

It’s these sorts of questions that are answered watching the show from one creatively thought-out special effect to the next.

From rain being projected across stage in a painterly style only to be stopped by Madame Morrible and her “specialty” controlling the weather, to the array of special effects make-up that makes us believe in flying monkeys with wings and talking goats as teachers, I was reminded of the beauty of experiencing the world through art.

Close to the end, as Elphaba herself sings about and defies the laws of physics in a way that would certainly confuse Isaac Newton in his time, I was already excited for my next trip to the theatre. A long-lost longing for exploration that will not die out anytime soon.

As we continue through troubling times, it is important to not just survive, but to live and experience.

My love for the theatre was reignited, all starting with a ticket and a visit. All I have left to ask not only myself, but to each of you is, where would you love to visit next?