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No rest for the Wicked

Last spring, The Lowry announced that ‘Wicked’, the global musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, would conclude its critically acclaimed, record-breaking UK and Ireland tour, opening at The Lowry in Salford in summer 2015. Tickets were snaffled up almost immediately, and additional dates added to cope with the massive demand.

When Dorothy famously triumphed over the Wicked Witch, we only ever heard one side of the story. Gregory Maguire’s “outstanding novel” (The Independent), ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’, ingeniously and wittily re-imagined the Land of Oz, created a parallel universe to the familiar story written by L. Frank Baum and first published as ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ in 1900.

Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two girls who first meet as sorcery students at Shiz University. The blonde and very popular Glinda and a misunderstood green girl named Elphaba. Following an encounter with The Wizard, their friendship reaches a crossroads and their lives take very different paths. Glinda’s unflinching desire for popularity sees her seduced by power while Elphaba’s determination to remain true to herself, and to those around her, will have unexpected and shocking consequences for her future. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.


Executive Producer, Michael McCabe said, “We are all delighted to be bringing the record-breaking national tour of Wicked to The Lowry in Salford Quays, which is unquestionably one of the most stunning theatres in the UK. It is with great excitement that we’ll return to the Greater Manchester area having hosted the critically acclaimed premiere of this spectacular new production of Wicked there in 2013.”

The Lowry’s Chief Executive, Julia Fawcett added, “At The Lowry we pride ourselves in bringing the finest in art and entertainment to the region. We’ve had the pleasure of welcoming some of the world’s most celebrated musicals to Salford since we opened our doors in 2000. This is a landmark announcement for The Lowry, and we are certain that Wicked will be a massive hit with audiences, particularly for families looking for a magical experience in summer 2015!”

The spectacular touring production of Wicked has already broken countless Box Office records, won 5 star reviews from multiple critics and standing ovations from the public at every performance. The Irish Times raved: “From the opening chorus, the whirl of light and colour that is Wicked grabs you and doesn’t let go”.


Acclaimed as “a magical mystery tour through the fantasy land of Oz” (London Evening Standard), the hugely successful London production continues its open-ended run at the Apollo Victoria Theatre where it is already the 15th longest-running musical in West End theatre history.

Wicked has already been seen by over 38 million people around the world and the original Broadway production remains “Broadway’s biggest blockbuster” (The New York Times) after a decade at the Gershwin Theatre. The West End production is now in its 8th year and recently celebrated its 3000th performance. Wicked has won over 90 international awards.

In addition to the Broadway show, there are at present another 8 productions playing concurrently around the world, two North American tours, in Japan, South Korea, Mexico, on tour in Australia and New Zealand, on tour in the UK and Ireland and at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, grossing in excess of 3.1 billion dollars at the Box Office after  having been translated from English into five languages, Japanese, German, Dutch, Spanish, and Korean.

Wicked has been recognised as “the best musical of the decade” (Entertainment Weekly), “the defining musical of the decade” (The New York Times), “a cultural phenomenon” (Variety) and“ a breathtaking success story of a magnitude not witnessed since the peak years of The Phantom of the Opera” (The Washington Post).


Wicked has music and lyrics by multi GRAMMY® and Academy Award® winner Stephen Schwartz, a book by Winnie Holzman, musical staging by Wayne Cilento and is directed by two-time Tony Award® winner and Olivier Award nominee Joe Mantello. Wicked is based on the acclaimed novel, ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’, by Gregory Maguire.

Tickets for performances in June and July are available from The Lowry box office in-person or online at priced between £36 and £70.

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