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Life / Entertainment / Theatre / Wicked
Guide to the London stage musical "Wicked"
  Story outline
  Main characters
  The Wizard of Oz
  Further information


This page is a brief guide to the stage musical Wicked. It is currently being staged at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in London's West End. The show's opening night on New York's Broadway was in October 2003, and it opened in London's West End in September 2006. It is based on a bestselling book Wicked by Gregory Maguire which was inspired by the story of The Wizard Of Oz.

Watch the stage show trailer (opens in a new window)

Wicked poster

Everything is green in Emerald City

Apollo Victoria Theatre

Wicked (Wicked Years 1) (book)
Author: Gregory Maguire
Publisher: Headline Review
Date: September 2006
Son of a Witch (Wicked Years 2) (book)
Author: Gregory Maguire
Publisher: Headline Review
Date: April 2008
A Lion Among Men (Wicked Years 3) (book)
Author: Gregory Maguire
Publisher: Headline Review
Date: October 2008
"Wicked": The Grimmerie (book)
Author: David Cote
Publisher: Hyperion
Date: August 2008

Recommended music to listen to when reading this page:
I'm Not That Girl or Popular or
Original London Cast at the 2006 Royal Variety Performance: One Short Day and Defying Gravity (Indina Menzel and Helen Dallimore)

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If you have seen the film The Wizard of Oz (or read the book), you may think that you already know the story about Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and their journey to see the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. But there are always two sides to any story - maybe you haven't been told the whole truth. This musical tells the story from the perspective of Elphaba, the girl who becomes the Wicked Witch of the West. Was she really as wicked as she seemed in the film?

The original story left many questions unanswered. The musical answers questions such as these:
- Who was the Wicked Witch of the West? What kind of childhood did she have? Why is her face green? How did she get her pointed hat and black cloak? How did she end up living in a castle in the mountains?
- How did her sister the Wicked Witch of the East get those beautiful jewel-covered shoes? What is so magical about them?
- Is Glinda the Good perfect, or is she just living in a bubble? How did she get her wand and learn magic?
- Who is the Scarecrow? How did he end up without a brain?
- Who is the Tin Man? What happened to his heart?
- When did the Cowardly Lion lose his courage? Will he be brave enough to appear in this show?
- Is the Wizard of Oz really so wonderful?

If you haven't seen the film, or you saw it a long time ago, you may want to read the summary of that story first, or watch the DVD before you go to the musical. See the section below called "The Wizard Of Oz".

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The Apollo Victoria Theatre is at 17 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1LG (nearest Tube or train station: Victoria)

View Apollo Victoria Theatre in a larger map

Performances start times are as follows (you should arrive at the theatre 30 minutes earlier):


The running time (including one 20 minute interval) is 2h50.

To book a ticket to see the stage musical Wicked in London click on one of these links:
Encore Tickets

Click here to see the seating plan for this theatre.

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The following are the main characters in the musical:

Elphaba: A girl with green skin who eventually becomes the Wicked Witch of the West. Her father is the governor of Munchkinland.
Nessarose: Elphaba's younger sister, who was born crippled (she becomes the Wicked Witch of the East)
Galinda: A "perfect" girl who shares a room with Elphaba at university (she becomes Glinda the Good)



Fiyero: A prince who comes to the university and is immediately attracted to Galinda
Boq: A Munchkin (a little person from a region called Munchkinland) who is in love with Galinda

Madame Morrible: The headmistress at the university (Shiz) which is attended by Elphaba and her sister
Doctor Dillamond: A goat who teaches at Shiz - he is the only professor at the university who is an animal
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The mysterious ruler of the Emerald City. He pretends to be powerful, but actually he is sentimental and wishes he had a child

The actresses playing the role of Elphaba in London have been as follows:
- Idina Menzel (from September 2006) (she also played Elphaba in the original Broadway cast)
- Kerry Ellis (from January 2007; in June 2008 she transferred to the Broadway show)
- Alexia Khadime (from June 2008)
- Kerry Ellis (from December 2008)

The name Elphaba is based on the sounds of the letters LFB, the initials of the author of The Wizard of Oz (L. Frank Baum).


Madame Morrible

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Wicked [Soundtrack] (CD)
Artist: Broadway Original Cast (Idina Menzel as Elphaba)
Label: Universal Classics
Date: August 2006
Kerry Ellis - Wicked In Rock (CD Single)
Artist: Kerry Ellis
3 track CD, arranged and produced by Brian May
Songs: Defying Gravity (from Wicked), I'm Not That Girl (from Wicked), No-One But You (from We Will Rock You)

The songs featured in the musical are as follows. They are in the order in which they are sung. Click on the links to see the words to each song.

Song Title
No One Mourns the Wicked
click here
Glinda, Father, Mother, Midwife, and the citizens of Oz
Dear Old Shiz
click here
Glinda, and the students of Shiz University
The Wizard and I
click here
Madame Morrible and Elphaba
What Is This Feeling?
click here
Galinda, Elphaba and the students of Shiz University
Something Bad
click here
Doctor Dillamond and Elphaba
Dancing Through Life
click here
Fiyero, Galinda, Boq, Nessarose and the students of Shiz University
click here
I'm Not That Girl
click here
The Wizard and I (Reprise)
click here
Elphaba and Madame Morrible
One Short Day
click here
Elphaba, Glinda and citizens of the Emerald City
A Sentimental Man
click here
The Wizard
Defying Gravity
click here
Elphaba, Glinda and the citizens of Oz
No One Mourns the Wicked (Reprise)
click here
The citizens of Oz
Thank Goodness
click here
Glinda, Madame Morrible, and the citizens of Oz
click here
The Wizard and Elphaba
I'm Not That Girl (Reprise)
click here
As Long As You're Mine
click here
Elphaba and Fiyero
No Good Deed
click here
March of the Witch Hunters
Tin Man and the citizens of Oz
For Good
click here
Elphaba and Glinda
Glinda, Elphaba, and the citizens of Oz

Popular (extract)
Popular! You're gonna be popular!
I'll teach you the proper ploys
When you talk to boys
Little ways to flirt and flounce
I'll show you what shoes to wear
How to fix your hair
Everything that really counts

I'm Not That Girl (extract)
Hands touch, eyes meet
Sudden silence, sudden heat
Hearts leap in a giddy whirl
He could be that boy
But I'm not that girl

Defying Gravity (extract)
I'm through accepting limits
'Cause someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well, if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost
I'd sooner buy
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I'm defying gravity
And you can't pull me down ...

Wonderful (extract)
Wonderful, they called me wonderful
So I said, "wonderful - if you insist I will be wonderful"
And they said, "wonderful"
Believe me, it's hard to resist
'Cause it feels wonderful
They think I'm wonderful
Hey look, who's wonderful?
This corn-fed hick
Who said, "It might be keen
To build a town of green
And a wonderful road of yellow brick"

The witch hunters are on the march

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If English is not your first language you may find it helpful to read the script before or after seeing the show (these are PDF files):
Act 1:
Act 2:
Alternatively, if you buy the music CD (see the "Music" section above), this contains the words to all of the songs.

Note that some invented words are used, mainly by Glinda and Madame Morrible, for example:
rejoicify (rejoice) ; proudliest (proudest) ; defin-ish (definite) ; outuendo (the opposite of innuendo) ; confusifying (confusing) ; linguification (talking) ; de-greenify (to make something lose its green colour) ; disgusticified (disgusting) ; disturberance (disturbance) ; scandalacious (scandalous) ; hideodious (hideous) ; graditution (gratitude) ; devastrated (devastated) ; moodified (modified) ; braverism (bravery) ; surreptitially (surrepticiously) ; discoverates (discovers) ; disrespectation (disrespect) ; festivating (having a festival)

Below is some of the vocabulary used during the songs. You may want to look up any words which you do not understand (words in red are only used in this story and will not be found in a dictionary):
No One Mourns the Wicked: Oz (the name of the land) ; Ozian (person from Oz) ; to mourn someone ; elixir ; atrocious ; froggy (looking like a frog, ie green) ; ferny (looking like fern, ie green)
Dear Old Shiz: to cross paths (meet by accident) ; hallowed ; a vine ; draped ; proudliest (proudest) ; sere (dry/withered) ; to revere
The Wizard and I: vizier (a senior official) ; a quirk ; wizard ; dumb ; a Munchkin ; to be acclaimed by someone ; curse ; verdigris (green coating that forms on some metals) ; de-greenify ; a vision ; a prophecy ; hazy ; to melt ; to be held in high esteem
What Is This Feeling?: darlingest (dearest) ; Momsie (mother) ; Popsical (father) ; rooming ; a room-mate ; to loathe (hate) ; a trait ; exhilaration ; detestation (strong dislike) ; a tartar ; a bias ; a martyr ; disgustified (disgusting) ;
Something Bad: an ox ; Quox (name of a place in Oz) ; a flock ; to preach ; to screech ; a rumour ; a paw ; behind the scenes
Dancing Through Life: to be callow (unexperienced) ; to be shallow ; strife ; to skim the surface ; to sluff off (to shed, like a snake sheds its skin) ; to sway ; to be fraught ; to be rife ; swankified (swanky, ie showing off) ; the Ozdust Ballroom (a dance-hall) ; a whirl ; tragically ; to go on a spree ; gee ; Bick (=mistaken name for Boq) ; to repay someone ; out of the goodness of my heart ; to confess ; to feel sorry for someone ;
Popular: a project ; a makeover ; a ploy ; to flirt ; to flounce (to move about in an exaggerated way in order to draw attention to yourself) ; cohorts (companions) ; to have a long way to go ; dialysis (a process of making something pure) ; a pal (friend) ; dreary ; popular (pronounced like "populer") ; unprepossessing ; on someone's behalf ; head of state (leader) ; disinterest ; clandestinedly (secretly) ; to grin and bear something
I'm Not That Girl: giddy ; a whirl ; to lose sight of something ; ache ; blithe ; lithe ; limb ; winsome ; a curl ; to wound ; a pearl
One Short Day: emerald ; The Emerald City ; exquisite ; Quoxwood (name of a place in Oz) ; grand ; hoi polloi (general population) ; Wizomania (a show performed in Oz, the name is based on the words "wizard" and "mania", because people adore the wizard) ; mage (magician) ; a sage (a wise man) ; posterior (a person's bottom) ; hot air ballooning ; to roam (to wander)
A Sentimental Man: sentimental ; to long to be something ; ascent ; parental
Defying Gravity: to fly off the handle ; to grovel ; submission ; ambition ; Elphie (a short form of the name Elphaba) ; to play by the rules ; to second-guess ; to trust your instincts ; to leap ; to defy gravity (fly) ; a delusion of grandeur (thinking you are more important than you really are) ; to work in tandem (together, as a pair) ; bliss ; solo ; to ground someone ; renown (fame)
Thank Goodness: to be on alert ; a victim ; a blizzard ; to defame ; a calumny (a false charge against someone) ; to shield someone ; a fairy tale ; a plot ; vicariously (generously, for the benefit of other people) ; to feel humble ; press secretary ; braverism (bravery) ; to bow ; throne ; to decree ; a squeal ; concealment ; to lurk ; surreptitially ; to shed skin ; to melt ; empty-headed ; to be thoughtful ; to anticipate ; a thrill ; a finale ; ballyhoo ; to be frank ; fiancé ; goodly
Wonderful: winds of chance ; Solomon (ancient king of Israel, believed to have been wise) ; Socrates (a philosopher in Ancient Greece) ; a dime a dozen (commonplace, not unusual) ; mediocity ; to be respected ; to be worshipped ; folks ; to get hooked ; to get carried away ; to resist ; corn-fed ; a hick (a simple person who lives in the countryside) ; a citizen ; a traitor ; a liberator ; a thief ; a philanthropist ; a crusader ; an invader ; to persist ; moral ; ambiguity ; to receive your due ; overdue ; rehabilitated ; a whoop-de-doo (a lively debate/event)
As Long As You're Mine: to foresee ; resistance ; a borderline ; brainless ; to fall under a spell
No Good Deed: Eleka nahmen ah tum (words from a magic spell) ; flesh ; a stain ; to chant ; to bleed ; a good deed ; unpunished ; an act of charity ; to resent ; a creed ; good intentions ; to seek attention ; ice-cold ; an urge ; to circumvent ; to mean well ; through and through
March of the Witch Hunters: to eliminate ; to punish ; to have a personal score to settle ; tin ; a spell ; to be heartless ; a grievance ; a coward
For Good: to be limited ; to be up to you ; a comet ; orbit ; a stream ; a boulder (a large rock) ; to change for the better ; to change for good ; to part ; a handprint ; a mooring ; a skybird (bird) ; to clear the air ; to ask forgiveness ; to blame

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Although some of the vocabulary is quite difficult in places, the story itself is easy to follow.
Age: This show can be enjoyed by men and women of all ages (it is especially popular amongst females in their teens/early 20's)
Mood: There is a mixture of comedy and sentimentality. The costumes and sets are very colourful.
Music: There is music during most of the show, with short dialogues in between the songs. Songs are original ones written for this show.

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The film The Wizard of Oz was released in 1939. It starred Judy Garland (the mother of Liza Minelli) as Dorothy. It is suitable for all ages, although a few of the scenes may scare very young children.

You mind find it interesting to watch the film before going to see Wicked, or at least to read the following summary of the story:

Dorothy is a teenage girl who lives with her aunt and uncle on a farm in Kansas, and has a pet dog called Toto. She has some problems in her life and dreams about escaping to a place where there is no trouble, somewhere "over the rainbow". A local lady complains that Toto bit her and demands that the dog is taken away to be destroyed. Toto escapes from his basket and runs to Dorothy, who decides they must run away together. She meets a fake fortune-teller who persuades her to return home because her aunt will be worrying about her. However, a twister (a very strong rotating wind) appears suddenly and heads towards Dorothy's house. Her family seek shelter underground in a storm shelter, but Dorothy returns home too late and seeks shelter in her bedroom instead. The wind blows out a window - she is hit on the head and loses consciousness.

When Dorothy opens her eyes she is being carried by the twister up into the sky, together with the whole house. Suddenly the house lands and Dorothy gets out. She is in a strange land populated by small people called Munchkins. They are happy because the house has landed on top of a witch known as the Wicked Witch of the East and has killed her. Dorothy realises how much she misses her family and wishes that she could go back home to Kansas. Glinda the Good (the Witch of the North) appears magically from some bubbles. Glinda makes the dead witch's slippers (which are covered in jewels) move onto Dorothy's feet. She tells her to keep these on at all times and to walk to the Emerald City to seek help from the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. To get there she needs to follow a road called the Yellow Brick Road.

While Dorothy is walking along the road she meets the Scarecrow, who is made of straw. He feels like a failure because he doesn't have a brain, and he is scared of fire. He joins Dorothy because he hopes the wizard can help him. Next she meets the Tin Man. He wishes he had a heart, and is scared of water because it makes him rusty. Finally she meets the Cowardly Lion. He has lost his courage. All of them walk together along the Yellow Brick Road, hoping the wizard will be able to solve their problems. The Wicked Witch of the West (the sister of the Wicked Witch of the East) tries to stop them. She wants the shoes being worn by Dorothy, and she wants revenge because of her sister's death.

Dorothy and her friends enter the Emerald City. Everything appears to be green (perhaps because everyone wears green glasses). They get to see the wizard, who promises to help each of them to get what they want. However, first he sets them a task to prove themselves worthy: they must go and bring back the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West. They set off towards the witch's castle. The witch uses magic and some flying monkeys to capture Dorothy and Toto, but Toto escapes and leads the Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion to the castle. When they confront the witch, she sets fire to the Scarecrow. Dorothy throws a bucket of water over him, but this also lands on the witch and causes her to melt. They take the broomstick and take it back to the wizard. However, they discover that the wizard has no magic powers. He tells them how he came to Oz accidentally in a balloon, and became the leader by telling the people of Oz what they wanted to hear. However, the wizard explains that they do not need magic - they just need to believe in themselves.

There is a celebration in Oz, now that both of the wicked witches are dead. Glinda tells Dorothy that it is possible for her to leave Oz - she just needs to close her eyes, tap her heels together and to think "there is no place like home". Dorothy wakes up. She finds herself in her bed back in Kansas, being looked after by her aunt. The people living around her look strangely similar to the characters she met in Oz. Dorothy has learnt to appreciate her home, family and friends ...

The Wizard of Oz [1939] (DVD; 2 disc special edition)
Starring: Judy Garland
Studio: Warner Home Video
Date: October 2006
The Wizard of Oz (book)
Author: L. Frank Baum
Publisher: Puffin Classics
Date: February 2008

From the Wizard of Oz: Film trailer (1939) or Somewhere over the Rainbow (song by Judy Garland) (opens in a new window)

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Official website for the London musical:

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British theatre: Life/Entertainment/Theatre
West End Live: Ideas/Album/West-End-Live

If you like Wicked you may also be interested in these musicals:
Phantom of the Opera: Life/Entertainment/Theatre/Phantom-Of-The-Opera
Lion King: Life/Entertainment/Theatre/LionKing

Home page: Home

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