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The Really Wicked Witch of the West

Many theatre fans will know of the reputation of Wicked’s more ardent followers. Cultish in the true sense of the word, for many teenagers, Wicked is a way of life as much as a stage show and cast members past and present are worshipped as teen idols.

However, it seems the attentions of such devotees can prove a little trying for the cast, especially when those in the front row try to get the attention of the lead! It all got too much for London’s leading lady this month, as she inadvertently shared her feelings on mic with the entire audience.

During a dialogue driven scene during which fan activity is usually at its worst, several fans in the front row tried to attract Kerry Ellis, Dianne Pilkington and Oliver Tompsett’s attention, attempting to make them laugh. Offstage, and during one of Wicked’s few quiet moments, Kerry commented to a dresser that she would like to throw pins at the girls in the front row, unaware that her microphone had accidentally been left on. Her comment rang out into the Apollo Victoria’s auditorium, devastating the girls in the front row, who, after the show, wept into their laptops as they filled Kerry’s many fan forums with their feelings of hurt and betrayal. One particularly melodramatic witness described how she spent the remainder of the second act sobbing. At the curtain call, not one person in the front row joined in the ovation.

Still what does Kerry care? She leaves on 9 May, and Wicked tickets for her final show were snapped up months ago. Whether she will get the customary, frenzied Wicked send off remains to be seen.

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Published: 01/05/2009 15:49:08