The very last show of my nine show week (if you count the four Scott Alan concerts I attended) and talk about ending on a high! Willemijn Verkaik wasn’t performing that day (again) so I was lucky enough to have Emma Hatton as Elphaba. This is the fifth of seven “Restricted West End” posts and the view was brilliant. A little bit of the front of the stage was cut off but if you’re prepared to lean then that’s no problem.
The last time I saw Emma Hatton as Elphaba I had my Mum there to fan girl with – this time I was on my own! I did let out a little squeak when Emma ran onto the stage, much to the surprise of the woman sitting next to me, but I managed not to cry this time. Just. Her first big song, “The Wizard and I” was absolutely incredible – she has improved so much even in the two months since I last saw her. She has added all kinds of little quirks to make her Elphaba different and she had me laughing out loud with her impressions of G(a)linda in “What Is This Feeling?” Savannah Stevenson has also improved – I wasn’t sure about her take on the role of Glinda last time but I think that’s because I was so used to Gina Beck. Savannah is a goofier, funnier Glinda which is what makes her “Popular” so brilliant. She isn’t afraid to let go and really show Glinda’s excitable, less dignified side.
Jeremy Taylor is the best Fiyero I have ever seen. It’s such a treat to watch him strutting around the stage in Fiyero’s (very tight) white jodhpurs and he is so charismatic and confident and has brilliant chemistry with Emma Hatton’s Elphaba. His “Dancing Through Life” shows off his exceptional dancing skills and his duet with Emma, “As Long as You’re Mine” is a master class from both of them in how the song should be performed.
The only downside to the show was Sue Kelvin who plays Madame Morrible. Usually I love to hate this character because she’s so secretly manipulative but this time she just gave me a headache. Sue Kelvin shouted every single line which got very tedious very quickly, and, while I suspect she was trying to be commanding, she just came across as “look at me, I’m talking now!”
On a more positive note I have to mention Sam Lupton who plays the character of Boq absolutely perfectly. He is so ridiculously adorable! He is a very talented performer with impeccable comic timing and, even though I’ve seen him in this role a good few times now, I never tire of watching him. His transformation into the bitter, hardened Boq of the second act showcases his superb acting skills and you can’t help but feel sorry for him.
Once again, Emma Hatton’s Defying Gravity reduced me to tears. The sheer power and emotion in her voice left me with goosebumps, but what I really love about Emma is that she can control her voice and can go from big, belting notes to soft high notes in an instant. This was shown through her last big solo, “No Good Deed.” I felt her pain and anguish and was totally captivated.
After the show, I decided to head to the stage door where I met my good friend Nikki. We waited for Jeremy Taylor who I had a lovely chat with, and we were just getting ready to leave when Sam Lupton came out of the stage door. I’ve managed to miss Sam every time at the stage door so far so this was a bit of a surprise and caught me totally off-guard – the only thing I managed to say to him was “you’re so cute!” Cringe. Sorry Sam! Despite me blathering like an idiot he was kind enough to pose for a photo with me and then it really was time to go.