This was amdram at its worst. The two leading roles had so little chemistry it seemed like they had never met before

Production: Wicked
Venue: Central Hall
Rating: *

Wicked is an acclaimed musical, but this production by the Gilbert and Sullivan society was almost unrecognisable. With an amateur production you are not expecting to see the same performance as from a Broadway cast, yet this production seemed more like a cast from nursery. This was amdram at its worst. The two leading roles had so little chemistry it seemed like they had never met before. They sang out of time and they couldn’t sing or speak loud enough to be heard. Elphaba rarely made eye contact with the audience; when she did it was for no longer than a second and with a very peculiar look on her face. If there was one thing to salvage from the ‘play’ however and it was Glinda’s acting, as she out of all the actors present on stage managed to capture the character’s personality.

The chorus managed to completely miss the plot at certain points; when the citizens are meant to be cowering in fear they instead bow in reverence. As a whole they were unaware of what was taking place, either when they were significant in a scene or merely onlookers. When supposed to be speaking amongst themselves, individuals often ended up speaking to themselves, or to the floor, as mime proved far too difficult. Wicked was an unrealistic choice of play for a company who lacked the talent and the manpower to pull it off convincingly, which may be why a large proportion of the audience fled half-way through.


  1. All this is surely just a wee bit unnecessary?

    Couldn’t you have just said you didn’t like the show without laying into the people involved? Perhaps you thought, they being from nursery and all, that they wouldn’t be able to read it? I happen to know that they did, and a lot of them were really quite hurt.

    Any chance you could post something here saying you didn’t mean it, or something? You’re a student, writing about students. You’re not a critic, and they’re not proffessionals. Give them a break. All they’ve done is spent months working on a show they hoped you’d like. And I did like it, and so did a lot of other people.

    It’s completely understandable to get caught up in journalistic fervour, and I’m sure you didn’t mean to be nasty. Just say so, because they, and pretty much everyone else who read the review, might think you did.

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  2. I agree! This is unnecessarly nasty. There nothing wronge with giving a play 1 star, but the comments in this are just rude!

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  3. 1 Jul ’08 at 8:44 am

    Fiona Constantine

    This review does interest me. I saw Wicked on the Sunday night, and I had tears in my eyes. Not in the way you mean it, but because I thoroughly enjoyed York G&S’ production of a musical I don’t happen to like very much.

    Set and costumes, both good (especially on a budget). Chorus, well-trained and (for the most part) accurate. Principals, stunning. Band, wonderful. The comments made about the band are, in my opinion, very unfair since with the acoustics of the lecture theatre, the slight balance problem was unavoidable.

    This review leads me to wonder if at one time you were not cast as something in the G&S society, and have a personal vendetta. That is the only reason that I can think of for such a scathing review.

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  4. 1 Jul ’08 at 3:36 pm

    James Armstrong

    I wasn’t able to attend the performance, but as a former member of the Gilbert & Sullivan Society I know how much hard work goes into delivering a production in just 8 weeks: Singing, Blocking, Building an entirely new set, Costumes, Props, Lighting, Sound, Orchestra…

    I don’t know if the society pulled off this performance, but I think that they should be congratulated for coming up with something year after year in one term, when everyone else is worrying about exams or inflating their egos by writing reviews which will become tomorrows fish and chip wrappers.

    It is also worth mentioning that the Gilbert and Sullivan Society allow everyone an opportunity to participate in their productions without audition and they appreciate that the role of a campus society is to enrich the lives of members of campus. Something which this article fails to realise.

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  5. I have had no personal involvement with the G and S society before this matter, but as a fan of the show, it disappointed me when I saw such a poor performance. I do happen to know about the effort involved in preparing a musical as I have been in many myself, however this was simply not up to parr. Many hgad failed to learn their words, which cannot be overlooked. In reviewing Wicked, I wasnt expecting to see a professional production, but I was expecting to see something which could entertain, enlighten and enthuse me – thus I was disappointed. I am not alone in these thoughts, I witnessed others fleeing in the interval’

    No harm is meant by my opinions to any individuals, it is essentially, solely MY opinion, as are yours, solely yours.

    I hope this clears a few things up.

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