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P / laying the laying Wicked game; WICKED, SUNDERLAND EMPIRE.

WICKED is set to cast its spell over the Northeast - so if you thought there was only one side to the Wicked Witch of the West, prepare to be surprised.

The UK tour of the smash hit West End musical comes to Sunderland Empire next month bringing with it the untold story of the Witches of Oz.

If you don't know the tale, the musical tells of the 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 Wonderful Wizard of Oz, their friendship reaches a crossroads and their lives take very different paths. Their adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

The multi award-winning stage musical, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, is currently on a UK wide tour.

It will make a stop over in Sunderland on March 31 in a run that will last until April 25.

The full cast has been announced and includes Ashleigh Gray as Elphaba, Emily Tierney as Glinda and Steven Pinder as The Wizard and Doctor Dillamond.

The tour has already broken box office records and won multiple five star reviews across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

Around the world, Wicked has already been seen by 42 million people in 13 countries, and won 100 international awards.

Tickets from PS20 - PS55, premium seats are available at all performances from PS72.50. Box of-formances office 0844 871 3022, online www.atgtickets.com/sunderland Wicked facts Kitting out a cast for a full UK stage tour takes some work - and Wicked is no exception. Here are some of the wardrobe facts: Elphaba's Wicked With dress .has more than 40 yards of different fabric, the skirt took three weeks to construct and the bodice is hand crafted and exclusive to Wicked Glinda's Bubble dress has .45 petals in the skirt, each took three days to bead Fiyero's Captain of the .Guard costume is tailored from traditional military cloth and the Oz logo on the armband is used throughout the show There are 319 pairs of shoes.

in the show 500 metres of ribbon is used .in just one of the Emerald City costumes

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| The cast of Wicked, which |is coming to the Sunderland Empire in March

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 13, 2015
Words:400
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