Alice Fearn and Sophie Evans lead new Wicked London cast

Wicked London: Sophie Evans and Alice Fearn
Wicked London: Sophie Evans and Alice Fearn – Photo Darren Bell

WICKED, the West End musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, is delighted to announce that Alice Fearn (Elphaba), Sophie Evans (Glinda), Bradley Jaden (Fiyero), Melanie La Barrie (Madame Morrible), Andy Hockley (The Wizard), Jack Lansbury (Boq) and Laura Pick (Standby for Elphaba) will head the new London cast from Monday 24 July 2017, joining current cast members Martin Ball (Doctor Dillamond), Sarah McNicholas (Nessarose) and Carina Gillespie (Standby for Glinda).

Alice Fearn (Elphaba) originally joined the London production of WICKED in 2016, as Standby for Elphaba, and will now assume the role. Her previous West End appearances include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Shrek The Musical, Into The Woods, Les Misérables (also the film version) and The Woman in White. Sophie Evans (Glinda) was the acclaimed runner-up in the BBC talent show ‘Over the Rainbow’ and subsequently played ‘Dorothy Gale’ in The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium; Bradley Jaden (Fiyero) is currently starring as ‘Fiyero’ on the international tour of WICKED. He previously starred as ‘Enjolras’ in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre; Melanie La Barrie (Madame Morrible) is currently part of the acclaimed Everyman Company at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre. Her West End roles have included ‘Mrs Phelps’ in the original cast of Matilda, ‘Mme. Thénardier’ in Les Misérables and ‘Mrs Corry’ in the original cast of Mary Poppins; Andy Hockley (The Wizard) has enjoyed a long association with The Phantom of the Opera, playing ‘Monsieur Firmin’ at London’s Her Majesty’s Theatre as well as on the UK & Ireland Tour for over 1000 performances. He most recently played ‘Grandpa Potts’ in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at West Yorkshire Playhouse and on the UK & Ireland Tour; Jack Lansbury (Boq) is a graduate of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and will be making his West End debut in WICKED; Laura Pick (Standby for Elphaba) appeared in The Sound of Music at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, covering and playing ‘Maria von Trapp’. Martin Ball (Doctor Dillamond), Sarah McNicholas (Nessarose) and Carina Gillespie (Standby for Glinda) all continue in their current roles.

Current cast members Willemijn Verkaik (Elphaba), Suzie Mathers (Glinda), Oliver Savile (Fiyero), Sue Kelvin (Madame Morrible), Mark Curry (The Wizard) and Idriss Kargbo (Boq) will all play their final performances on Saturday 22 July 2017.

From Monday 24 July 2017, the London production will star Alice Fearn (Elphaba), Sophie Evans (Glinda), Bradley Jaden (Fiyero), Melanie La Barrie (Madame Morrible), Andy Hockley (The Wizard), Martin Ball (Doctor Dillamond), Sarah McNicholas (Nessarose), Jack Lansbury (Boq), Laura Pick (Standby for Elphaba), Carina Gillespie (Standby for Glinda) and Jennie Abbotts, Ashley Birchall, Nicole Carlisle, Nicholas Corre, Conor Crown, Kerry Enright, Aimée Fisher, Joseph Fletcher, Alexandra Grierson, Katy Hanna, Tom Andrew Hargreaves, Olivia Kate Holding, Claudia Kariuki, Will Lucas, James McHugh, Danny Michaels, Ellie Mitchell, Rosa O’Reilly, Matt Parsons, Alex Pinder, Sam Robinson, Paulo Teixeira, Samantha Thomas, Hannah Toy, Russell Walker, Sasha Wareham and Libby Watts.

Acclaimed as “one of the West End’s true modern classics” (Metro), WICKED is now in its 11th smash hit year at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, where it is already the 17th longest running show in West End theatre history. The “hugely popular show” (The Times) is a three-time winner of the theatregoer-voted WhatsOnStage Award for ‘Best West End Show’ and a two-time winner of the Olivier Audience Award. The critically acclaimed and multi record-breaking UK & Ireland Tour returns from 31 January 2018, visiting Bristol, Liverpool, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Dublin, Sunderland, Southampton, Cardiff and Manchester.

Based on the acclaimed, best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire that ingeniously re-imagines the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, WICKED tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

WICKED has music and lyrics by multi-Grammy and Academy Award-winner Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Disney’s Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Enchanted and, for DreamWorks, The Prince of Egypt) and is based on the novel ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ by Gregory Maguire and adapted for the stage by Winnie Holzman (My So-Called Life). Musical staging is by Tony Award-winner Wayne Cilento and the production is directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello.

WICKED is produced around the world by Marc Platt, Universal Stage Productions, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone. Executive Producer (UK) Michael McCabe.

Apollo Victoria Theatre, Wilton Road, London, SW1V 1LG
Apollo Victoria Theatre Seating Plan

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Wicked is ‘Best Theatre Production for Schools’

Wicked The Musical LondonWICKED, the acclaimed stage musical that tells the incredible ‘untold’ story of the Witches of Oz, has today been voted Best Theatre Production for Schools by teachers at the 2016 School Travel Awards.

Now into its 10th year at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, Wicked poses the question ‘was the infamous Wicked Witch really wicked or simply the innocent victim of a corrupt regime…?’ and tells the story of how two sorcery students came to fulfil their destinies in Oz as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Nominated by teachers as a production that ‘excites, inspires and entertains’ with a ‘message that students could relate to’, the show was also recognised for ‘supporting subject teaching and offering the option of bookable workshops.’

Wicked School Travel Awards

Katy Holmes, Music and Drama teacher at Ark All Saints Academy in Camberwell, south east London says: “Congratulations to Wicked on winning this wonderful award. I would absolutely recommend the show to other teachers considering a school trip to the theatre. Visually the show is stunning and the themes of friendship, acceptance and integrity follow our school values.

Today’s School Travel Award – voted on by teacher readers of the School Travel Organiser’s magazine – was presented at a ceremony hosted by broadcaster Fiona Bruce at London’s Royal Garden Hotel.

Wicked School Travel Awards

Accepting the award Christopher Warner, director of The ArtsLink, which creates and manages the education programme says: “We are honoured to accept this prestigious accolade on behalf of the producers of Wicked. Going to watch live theatre is a really important educational experience in its own right. What Wicked also offers students from Key Stage 2 right through to A Level is the opportunity to celebrate difference, as well as study incredible storytelling, stagecraft and performance. More than 450,000 students of Drama, English and Music, as well as general school parties have been to see the show in the last decade. So from all of those onstage and backstage every night, as well as the team delivering the educational workshops and education programme by day, I want to say a massive thank you to the teachers who voted for us!

The production’s resources for educators and young people include: FREE downloadable lesson plans, as part of its comprehensive Education Programme, as well as themed Official Workshops in Anti-Bullying, Drama, Dance, Singing and Musical Theatre. In 2016, the song ‘Defying Gravity’ was announced as a set text for students studying Edexcel GCSE Music. Visit ‘EDUCATION’ at: www.WickedTheMusical.co.uk for more information.

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Rachel Tucker Wicked London production photographs released

FIRST LOOK: RACHEL TUCKER RETURNS TRIUMPHANTLY FROM BROADWAY
TO LEAD 10TH ANNIVERSARY WEST END CAST OF WICKED

WICKED, the award-winning musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, is pleased to release new production pictures of Rachel Tucker as Elphaba. Rachel Tucker returns to the West End production at the Apollo Victoria Theatre following an acclaimed engagement on Broadway. Her remarkable performance has won her both a WhatsOnStage Award and a Broadway.com Audience Choice Award.

Wicked London Rachel Tucker (Elphaba) Photo by Matt Crocket
Wicked London Rachel Tucker (Elphaba) Photo by Matt Crocket
Wicked London Rachel Tucker (Elphaba) Photo by Matt Crocket
Wicked London Rachel Tucker (Elphaba) Photo by Matt Crocket
Wicked London Rachel Tucker (Elphaba) Photo by Matt Crocket
Wicked London Rachel Tucker (Elphaba) Photo by Matt Crocket

Wicked currently stars Rachel Tucker (Elphaba), Suzie Mathers (Glinda), Oliver Savile (Fiyero), Anita Dobson (Madame Morrible), Mark Curry (The Wizard), Martin Ball (Doctor Dillamond), Katie Rowley Jones (Nessarose), Idriss Kargbo (Boq), Alice Fearn (Standby for Elphaba) and Carina Gillespie (Standby for Glinda).

Please note that Rachel Tucker, Anita Dobson and Katie Rowley Jones appear until Saturday 28 January 2017 only.

Acclaimed as “a wicked and wonderful vision of Oz” (London Evening Standard) and “pure magic” (Time Out London), the multi award-winning London production will celebrate its landmark 10th birthday at the Apollo Victoria Theatre on Tuesday 27 September 2016 and is already the 8th longest-running show currently playing in West End. Around the world, Wicked has now been seen by 50 million people in 14 countries, and won over 100 major awards.

Based on the best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire that ingeniously re-imagines the stories and characters created by
L. Frank Baum in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Wicked has music and lyrics by multi Grammy® and Academy® Award-winner Stephen Schwartz (Godspell; Disney’s Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and is based on the novel ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ by Gregory Maguire and adapted for the stage by Winnie Holzman. Musical staging is by Tony® Award-winner Wayne Cilento and the production is directed by two-time Tony® Award-winner Joe Mantello.

Wicked is produced by Marc Platt, Universal Stage Productions, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone. Executive Producer (UK) Michael McCabe.

Through its FOR GOOD programme and other charitable endeavours, Wicked is proud to support the remarkable work of the following UK charities: Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA); the Cybersmile Foundation; the Helen Bamber Foundation; the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity; Stonewall’s ‘Education For All’ campaign; The Woodland Trust and the National Literacy Trust. Further information can be found at www.WickedForGood.co.uk

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New cast of Wicked London September 2016

Anita Dobson (Madame Morrible)
Anita Dobson (Madame Morrible) Photo By Matt Crockett

WICKED, the award-winning West End musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, is pleased to release the first production pictures of Anita Dobson as Madame Morrible and the new principal cast who join the production from Monday 5th September 2016.

From Monday 5th September 2016, Wicked will star Rachel Tucker (Elphaba), Suzie Mathers (Glinda), Oliver Savile (Fiyero), Anita Dobson (Madame Morrible), Mark Curry (The Wizard), Martin Ball (Doctor Dillamond), Katie Rowley Jones (Nessarose), Idriss Kargbo (Boq), Alice Fearn (Standby for Elphaba) and Carina Gillespie (Standby for Glinda).

Acclaimed as “a wicked and wonderful vision of Oz” (London Evening Standard), “a magical story of friendship, love and growing up” (OfficialLondonTheatre.com) and “pure magic” (Time Out London), the multi award-winning London production will celebrate its landmark 10th birthday at the Apollo Victoria Theatre on Tuesday 27 September 2016 and is already the 8th longest-running show currently playing in West End. Around the world, Wicked has now been seen by 50 million people in 14 countries, and won over 100 major awards.

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Wicked plays 4000th performance at London Apollo Victoria Theatre

Wicked The Musical LondonWICKED, the West End musical that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, plays its landmark 4000th performance at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in London at 2.30pm today (Wednesday 30th March 2016). The award-winning production is currently the 9th longest-running show in the West End and already the 19th longest-running show in West End theatre history. (Verified by The Society of London Theatre).

Acclaimed as “a wicked and wonderful vision of Oz” (London Evening Standard) and “a magical story of friendship, love and growing up” (OfficialLondonTheatre.com), the long-running hit musical has now been seen by over 7 million people in London alone and 50 million people around the world.

Wicked currently stars: Emma Hatton (Elphaba), Savannah Stevenson (Glinda), Oliver Savile (Fiyero), Liza Sadovy (Madame Morrible), Mark Curry (The Wizard), Sean Kearns (Doctor Dillamond), Daniel Hope (Boq), Katie Rowley Jones (Nessarose), Natalie Andreou (Standby for Elphaba) and Carina Gillespie (Standby for Glinda). Cast subject to change from Monday 5th September 2016.

Wicked: Oliver Savile and Emma Hatton Sept 2015
Wicked: Oliver Savile and Emma Hatton Sept 2015 Photo by Matt Crockett

Based on the international best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire that ingeniously re-imagined the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Wicked has music and lyrics by multi Grammy and Academy Award-winner Stephen Schwartz (Godspell; Disney’s Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and is based on the novel ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ by Gregory Maguire and adapted for the stage by Winnie Holzman. Musical staging is by Tony Award-winner Wayne Cilento and the production is directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello.

Through its FOR GOOD programme and other charitable endeavours, Wicked is proud to support the remarkable work of the following UK charities: Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA); the Cybersmile Foundation; the Helen Bamber Foundation; the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity; Stonewall’s ‘Education For All’ campaign; The Woodland Trust and the National Literacy Trust. Further information can be found at www.WickedForGood.co.uk

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MARK CURRY TO JOIN WICKED AS ‘THE WIZARD’ FROM 25 MARCH 2016

MARK CURRY TO JOIN WICKED AS 'THE WIZARD'

AWARD-WINNING MUSICAL WELCOMES POPULAR ACTOR FROM 25 MARCH 2016

WICKED, the West End musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, is pleased to announce that the actor and presenter Mark Curry will play The Wizard from 25 March 2016. Tom McGowan will play his final performance as The Wizard on 12 March 2016. From 14-24 March 2016, the role will be played by Sean Kearns.

Mark Curry has enjoyed a long and successful career as both an actor and popular television and radio presenter. He is still best remembered by many for Blue Peter, which he co-hosted alongside Caron Keating and Yvette Fielding from 1986 to 1990. His many recent theatre appearances include: ‘Dr. Armstrong’ and subsequently ‘Rogers’ in Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None (UK Tour); ‘Richard Willey MP’ in Ray Cooney’s Out of Order (The Mill at Sonning); ‘Andre Cassell’ in Victor/Victoria (Southwark Playhouse); ‘Larry’ in Company (Southwark Playhouse); ‘The Narrator’ in The Rocky Horror Show (UK Tour) and ‘The Compere’ in Victoria Wood’s Talent (Menier Chocolate Factory).

Acclaimed as "a wicked and wonderful vision of Oz" (London Evening Standard) and "a magical story of friendship, love and growing up" (OfficialLondonTheatre.com), the long-running hit musical has now been seen by over 7 million people in London alone and is currently the 9th longest-running show in the West End* and already the 19th longest-running show in West End theatre history*. *Information verified by The Society of London Theatre.

Wicked currently stars: Emma Hatton (Elphaba), Savannah Stevenson (Glinda), Oliver Savile (Fiyero), Liza Sadovy (Madame Morrible), Tom McGowan* (The Wizard), Sean Kearns (Doctor Dillamond), Daniel Hope (Boq), Katie Rowley Jones (Nessarose), Natalie Andreou (Standby for Elphaba) and Carina Gillespie (Standby for Glinda).

*Tom McGowan is appearing with the support of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange program between American Equity and UK Equity.

Based on the international best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire that ingeniously re-imagined the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Wicked has music and lyrics by multi Grammy® and Academy® Award-winner Stephen Schwartz (Godspell; Disney’s Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and is based on the novel ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ by Gregory Maguire and adapted for the stage by Winnie Holzman. Musical staging is by Tony® Award-winner Wayne Cilento and the production is directed by two-time Tony® Award-winner Joe Mantello.

Wicked is produced by Marc Platt, Universal Stage Productions, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone. Executive Producer (UK) Michael McCabe.

Through its FOR GOOD programme and other charitable endeavours, Wicked is proud to support the remarkable work of the following UK charities: Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA); the Cybersmile Foundation; the Helen Bamber Foundation; the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity; Stonewall’s ‘Education For All’ campaign; The Woodland Trust and the National Literacy Trust. Further information can be found at www.WickedForGood.co.uk

Mark Curry cast as The Wizard in Wicked

Mark Curry
Mark Curry

The producers of WICKED, the West End musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, have announced that actor and presenter Mark Curry will play The Wizard from 25th March 2016 at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. Tom McGowan will play his final performance as The Wizard on 12 thMarch 2016. From 14th-24th March 2016, the role will be played by Sean Kearns.

Mark Curry has enjoyed a long and successful career as both an actor and popular television and radio presenter. He is still best remembered by many for Blue Peter, which he co-hosted alongside Caron Keating and Yvette Fielding from 1986 to 1990. His many recent theatre appearances include: ‘Dr. Armstrong’ and subsequently ‘Rogers’ in Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None (UK Tour); ‘Richard Willey MP’ in Ray Cooney’s Out of Order (The Mill at Sonning); ‘Andre Cassell’ in Victor/Victoria (Southwark Playhouse); ‘Larry’ in Company (Southwark Playhouse); ‘The Narrator’ in The Rocky Horror Show (UK Tour) and ‘The Compere’ in Victoria Wood’s Talent (Menier Chocolate Factory).

Wicked has now been seen by over 7 million people in London and is currently the 9th longest-running show in the West End and already the 19th longest-running show in West End theatre history.

Wicked currently stars: Emma Hatton (Elphaba), Savannah Stevenson (Glinda), Oliver Savile (Fiyero), Liza Sadovy (Madame Morrible), Tom McGowan* (The Wizard), Sean Kearns (Doctor Dillamond), Daniel Hope (Boq), Katie Rowley Jones (Nessarose), Natalie Andreou (Standby for Elphaba) and Carina Gillespie (Standby for Glinda).

Tom McGowan is appearing with the support of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange program between American Equity and UK Equity. He plays his final performance on 12 March 2016.

Based on the international best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire that ingeniously re-imagined the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Wicked has music and lyrics by multi Grammy and Academy Award-winner Stephen Schwartz (Godspell; Disney’s Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and is based on the novel ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ by Gregory Maguire and adapted for the stage by Winnie Holzman. Musical staging is by Tony Award-winner Wayne Cilento and the production is directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello.

Wicked is produced by Marc Platt, Universal Stage Productions, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone. Executive Producer (UK) Michael McCabe.

Through its FOR GOOD programme and other charitable endeavours, Wicked is proud to support the remarkable work of the following UK charities: Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA); the Cybersmile Foundation; the Helen Bamber Foundation; the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity; Stonewall’s ‘Education For All’ campaign; The Woodland Trust and the National Literacy Trust. Further information can be found at www.WickedForGood.co.uk

Apollo Victoria Theatre, Wilton Road, London, SW1V 1LG
Evenings: Monday to Saturday 7.30pm
Matinees: Wednesday and Saturday 2.30pm
Running Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Age Restrictions:
Recommended for ages 7+, children under 4 will not be admitted. Children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by adult during the performance.

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WEST END MUSICAL PHENOMENON WICKED EXTENDS BOOKING INTO 2017

TICKETS GO ON SALE MONDAY AT 10AM FOR PERFORMANCES UNTIL 29 APRIL 2017

WICKED, the West End musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, is delighted to announce the opening of its 21st new booking period, on Monday 1 February 2016 at 10am, with over 500,000 new tickets going on sale for performances until Saturday 29 April 2017..

The long-running London production, which is now in its 10th anniversary year, continues to break Box Office records at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, most recently setting a new house record with a weekly gross of £1,030,379.00 (for the week ending Saturday 2 January 2016).

Acclaimed as "a magical story of friendship, love and growing up" (OfficialLondonTheatre.com) and "a package of show-stopping songs and razor-sharp wit" (Metro), Wicked has now been seen by over 7 million people in London alone and is currently the 9th longest-running show in the West End* and already the 19th longest-running show in West End theatre history*.

* Information verified by The Society of London Theatre.

Wicked currently stars: Emma Hatton (Elphaba), Savannah Stevenson (Glinda), Oliver Savile (Fiyero), Liza Sadovy (Madame Morrible), Tom McGowan* (The Wizard), Sean Kearns (Doctor Dillamond), Daniel Hope (Boq), Katie Rowley Jones (Nessarose), Natalie Andreou (Standby for Elphaba) and Carina Gillespie (Standby for Glinda).

* Tom McGowan is appearing with the support of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange program between American Equity and UK Equity.

Based on the international best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire that ingeniously re-imagined the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Wicked has music and lyrics by multi Grammy® and Academy® Award-winner Stephen Schwartz (Godspell; Disney’s Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and is based on the novel ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ by Gregory Maguire and adapted for the stage by Winnie Holzman. Musical staging is by Tony® Award-winner Wayne Cilento and the production is directed by two-time Tony® Award-winner Joe Mantello.

Wicked is produced by Marc Platt, Universal Stage Productions, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone. Executive Producer (UK) Michael McCabe.

Apollo Victoria Theatre, Wilton Road, London, SW1V 1LG

For more information and to book tickets see: www.WickedTheMusical.co.uk/AutismFriendly

WICKED TO HOST DEDICATED AUTISM-FRIENDLY PERFORMANCE ON SATURDAY 14 MAY 2016

SPECIAL PERFORMANCE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NATIONAL AUTISTIC SOCIETY

WICKED, the classic West End musical that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, is proud to announce its first ever Autism-Friendly performance on Saturday 14 May 2016 at 1:30pm.

The production is working closely with the National Autistic Society, the UK’s leading charity for people on the autism spectrum and their families, to create a friendly and supportive environment in which to enjoy the show. The specially adapted performance is suitable for people with autism, with trained staff on hand in dedicated quiet and activity areas should anyone need to leave their seats.

Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society, said: "We were delighted to be offered the opportunity to work with the Apollo Victoria Theatre, the Ambassador Theatre Group and the producers of this hugely successful show. More than one in one hundred people have autism in the UK, and many of those affected by this lifelong condition are acutely sensitive to everyday sights and sounds, which other people are able to filter out, such as fluorescent lighting, background music or traffic noise. Autistic people and their families tell us that they would love to go to the theatre but because of sensory issues are prevented from doing so. Wicked’s production team have taken great care in adapting the show which means that for some of the audience on 14 May, this will be the very first time that they are able to experience the thrill of a live performance."

Executive Producer (UK) Michael McCabe said: "We are greatly indebted to the National Autistic Society and to the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) for their support in arranging this dedicated Autism-Friendly performance. We’re delighted to be able to welcome fans of Wicked who wouldn’t normally be able to attend a standard performance and look forward to what promises to be an inspiring experience for us all."

People with autism can experience sensory overload so to deal with this there will be adjustments made to the sounds and lighting. People will be able to leave the auditorium as needed and there will be chill out spaces identified around the theatre. Theatre staff, cast and crew will have been given an insight into autism so they are more aware of the needs of this audience.

Based on the international best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire that ingeniously re-imagined the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Wicked has music and lyrics by multi Grammy® and Academy® Award-winner Stephen Schwartz (Godspell; Disney’s Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and is based on the novel ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ by Gregory Maguire and adapted for the stage by Winnie Holzman. Musical staging is by Tony® Award-winner Wayne Cilento and the production is directed by two-time Tony® Award-winner Joe Mantello.

Wicked is produced by Marc Platt, Universal Stage Productions, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone. Executive Producer (UK) Michael McCabe.

Apollo Victoria Theatre, Wilton Road, London, SW1V 1LG

For more information and to book tickets see: www.WickedTheMusical.co.uk/AutismFriendly

POET AND PLAYWRIGHT SABRINA MAHFOUZ TO JOIN JUDGING PANEL FOR WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS 2016

Sabrina-Mahfouz - Wicked Young Writer Awards 2015/16

The award-winning poet and playwright Sabrina Mahfouz is joining the judging panel in the sixth year of the prestigious WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS. The WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS were set up by the team behind the award-winning musical to recognise excellence in writing and encourage creativity. The closing date for entries is 11 March 2016.

Since launching, over 20,000 young people, aged between 5 and 25, have entered original and thought-provoking pieces of writing that consistently reflect the interests, concerns and deepest thoughts of young people, providing a first-look at the emerging voices of a new generation.

As in previous years, entrants can enter one of five different age categories; 5-7, 8-10, 11-14, 15-17, 18-25. In addition, the 2016 awards scheme marks the launch of the FOR GOOD Award for Non-Fiction, encouraging 15-25 year olds to write essays or articles that recognise the positive impact that people can have on each other, their communities and the world we live in. The new category celebrates the WICKED: FOR GOOD programme, which supports the charitable causes at the heart of the stage musical.

Sabrina Mahfouz writes plays, poems and librettos for theatre and television including: Paines Plough; BBC3; Kate Whitley; Futures Theatre; Theatre Centre and Aakash Odedra. She has been a Sky Arts Academy Scholar for Poetry, a poet in residence for Cape Farewell and an Associate Playwright at the Bush Theatre. Her creative work has been recognized with a number of awards including a 2014 Fringe First Award; a 2013 Sky Arts Futures Fund Award; an Old Vic New Voices Award and a Westminster Prize for New Playwrights.

Sabrina Mahfouz comments on the Award, "Young people’s writing is what makes me optimistic and excited about the future, so being involved in anything that encourages more of it is a huge honour, especially alongside such legendary judges. I can’t wait to spend cosy nights in reading the stories from the stars of tomorrow!"

A shortlist of 120 entrants from across the UK will see their work published in the WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS Anthology. They are also invited to an exclusive ceremony at London’s Apollo Victoria, home to the hit musical since 2006, where judges and members of the Wicked cast will announce who has won in each category.

Pieces of original writing can be submitted, either individually or as part of a school group, until 11 March 2016. The overall winners from each category will receive tickets to the West End production of Wicked, £50 book/eBook tokens plus £100 worth of books for their school library donated by Hachette Children’s Books. The individual school with the highest number of entries will receive a bespoke writing workshop at their respective school.