Wicked, the ‘untold story of the witches of Oz’, celebrates its eighth birthday in the West End today.
The show opened on 27 September 2006 and has sold eight shows a week at the Apollo Victoria ever since – no small feat in one of the largest theatres in the West End! (For analysis of London’s largest theatres, read here…)
That makes Wicked the eighteenth longest-running show in the West End, racking up 3,304 performances. In around seven weeks’ time (after another 53 performances), it will surpass Jesus Christ Superstar. It will need to run for a good year longer to beat The Complete Works Of Shakespeare (Abridged). Its closest neighbour is Billy Elliott at the Victoria Palace, which leads by 590 performances, so Wicked would need Billy Elliott to close and then run for about 17 months longer if it is to reach 16th position.
The West End production has a way to go to catch up the elder sister production on Broadway, which has amassed 4,554 shows at the Gershwin.
With the recent recall of the original London star turn Kerry Ellis as Elphaba, Wicked appears to be going from strength to strength, although Kerry was not appearing on the birthday itself due to a concert commitment at the Curve in Leicester – her emergency contract to replace Willemijn Verkaik permitted her to honour previously-booked concert appearances.
For Showbusinessinsights’ review of Wicked, on Kerry Ellis’ return – see here.
Given the success of the show, and in honour of the Birthday celebrations, Showbusinessinsights will, perhaps, have to let Wicked off the naughty step for the ridiculous cost of Elphaba’s dress…
Happy Birthday, Elphaba, Glinda and the gang!
Wicked stage Telegraph
Apollo Victoria Golondon
Other photos – Showbusinessinsights