An autumn rich in musicals in the West End may yet bring better ones, but it’ll be difficult to find a more eye-poppingly lavish show anywhere than Wicked. And a musical about the castings of spells seems to have duly cast its own and hypnotises audience who have embraced it as not so much a musical as an event.
Straight after coming home from seeing War Horse, the now annual National Theatre production based on a children’s book and designed for family audiences, I went online to book tickets to see it again, this time with my partner, parents and older brother (who is a vet and has specialised in working with horses). So should you, before it sells out completely – and it will.
Miss Saigon is full of glimpses of, and glances towards, other shows from South Pacific to Pacific Overtures, too, as well as its operatic source. But it remains a striking, occasionally strident, example of musical theatre craftsmanship. I wish it hadn’t been burdened here by over-production, but there’s no question that audiences are getting their money’s worth, and that it will be a massive hit all over again.