Monday, 28 April 2014

PREVIEW: Wicked the Musical UK & Ireland Tour

A Preview of Wicked the Musical UK & Ireland Tour
Interview Excerpts with Nikki Davis-Jones (Elphaba) and Liam Doyle (Fiyero)
24th April 2014
After hearing that Wicked was to tour the UK and Ireland I was very sceptical of how this fantastic show would go on the road without losing any of it's 'Wicked' magic. Ahead of it's two month stay at the Birmingham Hippodrome, members of the press team were invited to Wales Millennium Centre to see the show before it flies into the Midlands on July 9th. Prior to seeing the matinee performance in Cardiff's stunning venue we were treated to interviews with cast members Nikki Davis-Jones (Elphaba - the green witch) and Coventry's own Liam Doyle (Fiyero).

This was my 14th visit to Wicked and the show is still as vibrant, and as spectacular as ever. I was extremely impressed with the whole feel of the touring production that it was easy to forget you weren't sitting in the Apollo Victoria in the West End. The Wales Millenium Centre is a stunning venue surrounded by the beautiful Cardiff Bay, and it is so fantastic that this production of wicked has toured across the isles and is still true to the original Broadway and West End productions.

No expense had been spared on this touring production and no corner had been cut in bringing this show on the road. There are a few subtle changes from the London production but these do not detract from the show in any shape or form. 
I would highly recommend this show as a highlight of the Hippodrome's programme for this year!
SPOILER: For the wicked 'Superfans' there are minuscule changes in the way in which Elphaba melts and her entrance for 'No Good Deed' due to tour venues not having trap doors. There are only 2 Flatheads in the Wizomania show in the Emerald City and there are no staircases either side of the proscenium as in the Apollo Victoria. The Defying Gravity sequence is pretty much the same and of course any production of Wicked would not be complete without the 'infamous' Bubble. The Time Dragon has also flew out to join the tour!
Interview excerpts(Full Interviews to be published in the near future):

Nikki Davis Jones - Elphaba
Would you say that your portrayal of Elphaba has changed since your Standby days in the West End? (Nikki was understudy for Elphaba in the London production for 2 ½ years)
Yeah, definitely! The basics are still there – in terms of the script, but I understand her a lot more now I’m playing her 8 times a week and I’ve kind of gone back to basics with it. I’ve really found new things about her, and we’re changing it up every day (well as much as we’re allowed!)
So what is your favourite Elphaba song to sing in the show?
‘No Good Deed.’
Liam Doyle - Fiyero
Are you looking forward to returning to your roots in the Midlands?
Yes!  I’ll be staying at my mom’s house and I can’t wait – it’s gonna be so much fun! All of my friends from school who’ve finally stopped asking me “What are you gonna do when acting finishes?” are gonna come and watch, they’ve never seen me in anything before!
Have you performed at the Birmingham Hippodrome before?
I did Hairspray at the Hippodrome, but I also did summer projects at the Birmingham Alex – ‘Stage Experience’ – and I did two of those. One of which was Tony in Copacabana where I wore an awful sparkly gold suit and I played Roddy in Boogie Nights. It’s nice to be returning to Birmingham which holds a place in my heart; it’s kind of like being at home, well as close as I can to Coventry anyway.
So now you’ve played Fiyero on the tour do you think you’d go back and do it on the West End if the offer was there?
I would never say never! Absolutely! Hopefully it’s not the end of Wicked for me but it’s an amazing role and I’d absolutely go back into the role in London! (Whispers: “Please”) 
Catch Wicked at the Birmingham Hippodrome this Summer! Book your tickets HERE