Sunday 14th of June
Words & photography: Bridey Eggleton
Wicked the Musical, follows the Untold Story of The Witches of Oz. The crew worked six days, including three overnight shifts, to build the show into Crown Theatre, the Wicked proscenium which extends out from the stage and features a giant dragon, weighs between 3.5 and 4 tonnes. Returning to Perth yet again with over 33 cast members, 360 costumes, an orchestra and a lot of green makeup Perth patiently waited for the magic of Oz to begin.
Sitting in a sold out audience watching as little girls wore their best dresses smiling from ear to ear took their seats, the show began with a bang. With the robotic dragon awakening and roaring with its red eyes flashing and smoke projecting from it’s jaws Wicked kicked off in full swing. Not skipping a beat the ensemble began to dance as Glinda, who was played by the stunning Suzie Mathers, floated down on her iconic bubble while streamers dropped into the audience from above. Shortly into the first half we were introduced to Elphaba, played by Jemma Rix who’s vocals were just as remarkable as her green skin. With fascinating props, dance moves and costumes you couldn’t take your eyes off the stage. Mathers awed and amused the audience as she sang “Popular” while dancing and leaping around the stage. The live orchestra added to the magic like atmosphere while the whole audience laughed and applauded at the pair on stage. To end the first half Rix began to perform the well known “Defying Gravity” and did a fantastic job giving the audience members chills as they watched on. Mathers and Rix harmonised perfectly with the set ending with Rix being lifted into the air and the stage blacked out.
The second half continued just as strongly with as much energy and technical ability on stage, as the monkeys were lifted and flew around the stage. However we began to enter the more serious sorrowful side of the performance with emotions running high on stage and within the audience. With colours of the costumes, brightness of the lights and the amazing talent of the orchestra the performance began to come to a close. The second last song was “For Good” which was a duet with Mathers and Rix which left the audience members close to tears. With a huge applause from the audience the cast began to take their bows with one of the cast members breaking out of character to talk about how they were raising money for Beyond Blue. Beyond Blue is an organisation raising awareness for the three million Australians that suffer from anxiety or depression and try to prevent and help those who are suffering. Mathers asked the audience if they could spare the price of a “Perth cup of coffee” as they left the theatre. With the curtains beginning to close the cast was given a very hearty goodbye applause and Mathers quickly ducked down under the curtain to wave goodbye to the audience once more.
Wicked was a breathtaking performance and brought the magic of both theatre and the land of Oz to the stage. Every actor from the main characters to the ensemble made the show what it was and without the orchestra, special effects and lighting it would have been completely different. Besides the squelching of green slushies from a few kids I can honestly say it was a wicked show and recommend for everyone to go see it. Don’t worry the final performance isn’t until the 28th of June so grab your broom stick and get some tickets!