I know you are thinking what do Wicked and public relations have in common? The answer is when it comes to the prequel/parallel story of the Wizard of Oz – a lot.
For those who don’t know the Wicked story, it tells of Elphaba’s (the Wicked Witch) life. It starts with her being born green and goes on to catch up to Dorothy’s time in Oz. All from the witch’s point of view and shows that the happenings in Oz were not as clear cut as we were told in the Wizard of Oz.
Still, how does Wicked relate to public relations?
Madame Morrible, a character new to Wicked, is the connection. We first meet her as a college head mistress at Shiz University (which Elphaba attends), but learn her true role is the press agent for the Wizard of Oz. This is where the public relations comes in. We see that Madame Morrible is an old-school press agent. Hide the truth and manipulate people to achieve her aims – the full deal. So much of this story, and that we loved in the Wizard of Oz, all came about because of Madame Morrible’s actions, and we learn they are rarely for good.Without giving away too much, all ends well-ish, confirming “truth is the new lie”.
The musical theatre version of Wicked is currently playing in Melbourne, Australia and I thoroughly recommend seeing it. The story is compelling and the songs and production are absolutely amazing. Just a word of warning, the soundtrack will be stuck in your head for at least week after – but it’s so good it is worth it.