Jade is back with some more Friday Fiction delights, this week she is getting a little…
Surely everyone has heard of Wicked? The Broadway musical is hugely popular and with a film expected sometime next year it will be even bigger. So why don’t you start the weekend by going back to where it all began with the novel it originated from?
Elphaba, known as the Wicked Witch of the West in later life, is the misunderstood hero of this reimagining of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz universe of L. Frank Baum. The original book was based loosely on Grimm’s fairy-tales and follows Dorothy’s adventures as she navigates the fascinating world of Oz and meets the evil (in Dorothy’s opinion) Wicked Witch of the West.
If you’re looking for a light and airy read, you will not find it here. It is not as light as the subject would first suggest, the book has far more violence and sexual content than earlier or later versions of the tale.
This book takes the fantasy elements of its source material and turns all ideas on their head. It challenges social norms, becoming a political and ethical commentary on the real meaning of good and evil.
Pre-conceived notions about how evil is supposed to look and act are looked at methodically and in detail, developing into a thought provoking, compelling tale of this misunderstood, green skinned young woman.
The immersive fantasy provides a well developed backstory for Elphaba, creating a full and fleshed out character who is more than capable of carrying the heavy storyline.
The musical takes the strongest elements of the book and weaves them into a more family friendly version of the plot, a necessity when making a musical that appeals. Both adaptations have merit and are extremely different, however they do share the same desire to shed some light on this misunderstood character, removing her from the list of childhood villains that people love to hate. Both do a fantastic job at challenging the preconceptions people have when they are faced with someone very different from themselves.
If you loved the film or the musical, it is definitely worth delving deeper and reading the novel.
Library & Digital Assistant
Friday 15 April 2015
If you fancy seeing Wicked on the stage, you can check out the official UK tour website at http://www.wickedtour.co.uk/buytickets_Salford.asp
You’ll find more information about the author on the HarperCollins website http://www.harpercollins.com/cr-100794/gregory-maguire