As a kid, I have always been a fan of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a children’s novel written by L. Frank Baum and I was really intrigued when I stumbled upon Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, the alternative novel by Gregory Maguire which is also set in the Land of Oz.
Having read both novels, it was a pity that I didn’t have the chance to watch WICKED The Musical when they came to Singapore 5 years ago as I was serving my National Service. Fast forward to today, I am really glad that WICKED is back and the award-winning Broadway and West End Musical will be coming to perform live in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands from 29 September 2016 to 16 October 2016.
Will there any difference between this coming stage show and the last one that was here 5 years ago?
Yes, there will be and I found out about it when I had a one-to-one interview with Elphaba, the green-skinned witch (played by Jacqueline Hughes).
Me: What Inspired You To Take On The Role of Elphaba?
Jacqueline Hughes: Elphaba is hopeful and she’s a dreamer and she’s young and she’s got all these hopes and dreams; which I suppose is quite like myself, you know we are all dreamers; and essentially being Pisces; it’s sort of like my traits. But she’s misunderstood by everyone because of her green skin. She’s fiery, she’s feisty, she’s powerful, and she’s an incredible character to play and she’s also incredibly complex; which is why I love playing the part so much because there’s so many layers to it.
Me: Would You Think That It Is Extremely Hard For You To Get Into The Character As Opposed To You Being Yourself?
Jacqueline Hughes: You almost bring a part of yourself to the character and it has definitely helped me to portray the role. I’m originally from Scotland so I have a bit of fire in my blood and the determination like how Elphaba does. She’s incredibly tough and she’s thick-skinned; she has to be, and I really admire her for that.
Me: Is There Anything That You Hate About This Character At All?
Jacqueline Hughes: No, I just love playing the character. She has such an incredible journey from being a young hopeful university student to being this powerful woman who’s constantly faced with battles and she tries to overcome them and do good. She never wants to do wrong, she always want to do right but unfortunately, the propaganda around her has made her wicked; so by the end of the show with “No Good Deed”, which is actually my favourite song to perform; she said she’s had enough and she said ok, this is it, you want me to be wicked then so be it, I’m going to be wicked.
Me: Do You See Any Challenges Taking On This Role?
Jacqueline Hughes: Oh yeah. Lots of challenges. The role itself is so demanding; vocally, physically and mentally. I really have to look after myself. I need to make sure that I get enough sleep, enough rest, lots of water, and lots of vocal maintenance just to make sure that I can portray this role at every show. It is highly demanding but it is also rewarding as well; it’s sort of a love hate relationship.
Me: What’s Your Perfect Sunday Afternoon Like?
Jacqueline Hughes: My perfect Sunday afternoon is to be at home with my husband. We live out in the country so we take our jog, lots of walks. A walk in the park with my husband and my dog, sitting in the park, having a lovely Sunday lunch.
Me: What is one thing that fans of the WICKED can look forward to in this coming show? Is there something that will catch them by surprise?
Jacqueline Hughes: Yeah, firstly, it is an entirely British cast and we have never been to this part of the world before. There’s 72 of us that are bringing the show over. Fortunately, we have the American creative team to come and work with us and they have actually added some magical bits to freshen up the show. There’s more magic and more flying, and lots more to catch the audiences’ eyes.
Me: What is one fact about WICKED that fans may not probably know about?
Jacqueline Hughes: The Wicked Witch is not named in the original L. Frank Baum novel. Gregory Maguire invented the name for her using Baum’s initial; L.F.B. (Elphaba), that’s where the name Elphaba comes from.
Having concluded the interview with Jacqueline Hughes; I am definitely excited about watching WICKED The Musical and I really can’t wait to watch their coming performance here in Singapore.
Ticket prices start from SGD$55 to SGD$230.
Don’t miss this chance to catch WICKED The Musical live at the Marina Bay Sands!