WICKED, a West End and Broadway musical phenomenon since 2003 tells the story of 'frenemies' Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) and Galinda (aka Glinda, the Good Witch) from the Land of Oz. The plot begins long before and continues a little after Dorothy 'There's No Place Like Home' Gale arrives on the yellow brick road from Kanas in the classic Wizard of Oz movie (1939).


Twenty years on Wicked if as relevant, if not more so, with its tale of friendship, bullying, opposing personalities and viewpoints, relationship dramas, same love-interest issues, fighting the system, and overall self-acceptance. Think of it as some musical life lessons.

Wicked Poster

Junior caught an evening show in London and has 5 wicked reasons why you and your family should see this show for the first time - or, even watch it again through renewed eyes.

Wicked_Alexia Khadime (Elphaba)_Lucy St. Louis (Glinda)_Photo by Matt Crockett_0974_RT
Photo by Matt Crockett

5 Things children will learn from watching Wicked

  • There is ALWAYS 2 sides to every story

Most of us grew up only hearing one side of the story - that being when Dorothy famously triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West from the original story written by L. Frank Baum and first published as ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ in 1900, which was updated in the Hollywood musical version, ‘The Wizard of Oz’, starring Judy Garland in 1939.

But, since Wicked we now know there is another side to this tale, with 'Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West' by Gregory Maguire. A parallel universe, yes - but it gives a deeper understanding into the real witches. Children will grasp that everyone deserves a fair hearing, understanding, and chance to air 'their side of the story' - and that even a 'hated figure' should be allowed to tell things from their point of view.

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  • The highs & lows of Friendship

Wicked has themes of bullying, teasing, peer pressure, acceptance, and above all the true meaning of friendship. How opening yourself up to an unlikely, or on the surface 'mis-matched' friendship can have a profound effect on you. Meeting at Shiz University the sorcery students: Glinda, the blonde and popular one and a misunderstood green girl named Elphaba. We watch as they learn to accept their differences - and embrace them. Glinda’s unflinching desire for popularity sees her seduced by power while Elphaba’s determination to remain true to herself, and to those around her, will have unexpected and shocking consequences for her future.

  • Good V Evil?

The novel is described as a political, social, and ethical commentary on the nature of good and evil, and will get young minds thinking about what it really is to be "Wicked". On face value is Elphaba wicked because she is different? And, is Glinda really that good because 'she is popular'. Are good intentions that lead to bad results the same as bad intentions with bad results?

  • Words are Powerful

How you speak to yourself and others has a ripple effect. Children are learning faster than us that 'being kind' is important. They know the way someone says something can make them feel sad, angry, embarrassed, anxious, scared, helpless, alone. Bullying, verbal abuse and teasing are all touched on in Wicked. But, it's the songs - that of course make the musical the show it is - but, listen carefully as they are as powerful today as they were in 2003.

Like 'Things Are Not What They Seem' (see point 1), 'I'm Not That Girl' - by Glinda, explores the hurt and love-triangle that maybe explains some of her later actions, and 'For Good' which sees the witches friendship be tested by circumstances, and by the challenges of their external relationships have on them. It reflect upon the profound impact they have had on each other’s lives.

WICKED FACT: Stephen Schwartz (Music & Lyrics) is best known for his many successful stage musicals, including Wicked; Pippin and Godspell (which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary), is well as for his song-writing collaborations with composer Alan Menken on films including Disney’s Pocahontas; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; Enchanted and its Disney+ sequel Disenchanted.

  • Believe in Yourself

The most important message children will learn from Wicked is to always stand up for what you believe in - even if that means living with the consequences. Elphaba, who is initially misunderstood and marginalised, finds her own voice as she confronts the injustices (present in Oz) and Glinda, who undergoes her own transformation - from the 'popular' girl who learns how to use this power to change and influence the future.

Wicked_2023-24 London Company_Photo by Matt Crockett_1608_RT
Photo by Matt Crockett

>> See Wicked, at The Apollo Victoria Theatre, London BOOK TICKETS Booking now extended to Sunday 7 January 2024.

Performance Times:
Evenings Tuesday-Saturday 7.30pm
Matinees Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday 2.30pm*
* The performances on Sunday 24 December 2023 and Sunday 31 December 2023 will start at 1.00pm. Extra shows added: Thursday 6 April, Thursday 3 August, Thursday 17 August, Thursday 26 October and Thursday 28 December 2023, all @2:30pm. The performance lasts approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes including one 20-minute interval.

Ticket prices: from £22.50.


>> Wicked has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, a book by Winnie Holzman and is based on the novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire. It is directed by Joe Mantello, with musical staging by Wayne Cilento. Scenic design is by Eugene Lee, costumes by Susan Hilferty, lighting by Kenneth Posner, sound by Tony Meola, projection designs by Elaine J.McCarthy and Hair and Wig designs by Tom Watson. Music arrangements are by Alex Lacamoire and Stephen Oremus, with dance arrangements by James Lynn Abbott, orchestrations by William David Brohn, and musical supervision by Stephen Oremus.