Costume worn by Kerry Ellis as Elphaba in Wicked, Apollo Victoria Theatre, 2006 thumbnail 1
Costume worn by Kerry Ellis as Elphaba in Wicked, Apollo Victoria Theatre, 2006 thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Theatre & Performance, Room 103

Costume worn by Kerry Ellis as Elphaba in Wicked, Apollo Victoria Theatre, 2006

Theatre Costume
2006 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Costume worn by Kerry Ellis as Elphaba in the musical Wicked, designed by Susan Hilferty and made by Eric Winterling Inc. With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman, Wicked is based on Gregory Maguire's 1995 novel Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, an alternative adult perspective on the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and Frank Baum's original 1900 novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Kerry Ellis was the standby for Idina Menzel when Wicked opened in London at the Apollo Victoria Theatre on 27 September 2006. Menzel had starred as Elphaba in the original Broadway production (opening at the Gershwin Theatre on 30 October 2003), and played the role when the production first transferred to London. Ellis took over as Elphaba in January 2007.

Susan Hilferty's costume designs for the musical Wicked were inspired by William Wallace Denslow's illustrations to Frank Baum's 1900 children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.When Elphaba appears as a schoolgirl Hilferty designed her long brown hair to be worn as a plait, but as an adult witch her long brown hair flows down over her shoulders, its straight lines contrasting with the curved witch's hat and its upswept brim. The correct wig, often designed by the stage designer, is an essential part of the look of most stage characters.

Wicked has broken box office records in cities around the world since its opening at Broadway's Gershwin Theatre in 2003. It opened in London at the Apollo Theatre in Victoria on 28th April 2006. The musical tells the story of the witches of Oz, and focuses on the relationship between the two witches Elphaba and Glinda. Susan Hilferty has designed costumes for more than 300 productions all round the world, and in 2004 was awarded the Tony Award for best costume design and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design for her designs for Wicked.
make Design and make a musical from your favourite story Have you ever seen a musical and wondered how a story is transformed into a magical theatre performance? Re-think your favourite story for the stage: design costumes, find props and create your own set.
Object details
Categories
Object type
Parts
This object consists of 3 parts.
(Some alternative part names are also shown below)
  • Theatre Costume
  • Bodice
  • Theatre Costume
  • Skirt
  • Theatre Costume
  • Wig
Materials and techniques
Bodice and skirt: Sewn, beaded and painted mixed fabrics including lace, lurex, net, velvet, satin, cotton, cotton braid, chenille, chiffon and organza Wig: synthetic hair on net base
Brief description
Costume worn by Kerry Ellis as Elphaba in Wicked, music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman. Worn by her in the London production from January 2007 onwards, after the transfer from New York, Apollo Victoria Theatre, 28th September 2006. Mixed fabrics, designed by Susan Hilferty, 2003. Made by Eric Winterling Inc.

Wig made for an actor playing Elphaba in the London production of the musical Wicked that opened at the Apollo Theatre Victoria, 2006
Physical description
S.502:1-2016

High-necked, long-sleeved top or bodice in various black fabrics with underlays of colour, with 'twisted peplum' designed to create a contemporary note to an Edwardian design



S.502:2-2016

Long skirt, fitted to hips and flared to hem, in various black fabrics with underlays of colour



S.502:3-2016

Wig with shoulder-length straight chestnut brown synthetic hair with a centre parting.

Gallery label
Gallery rotation, 2022 COSTUME FOR ELPHABA IN WICKED 2003 and 2006 Stephen Schwartz’s musical Wicked opened on Broadway in 2003 and transferred to London in 2006. Idina Menzel wore the hat and boots of this costume in New York and London. The bodice and skirt were worn by Menzel’s ‘standby’, Kerry Ellis, in London. A standby in musical theatre must always be ready to play the role whenever necessary. Ellis took over the role in 2007. Designed by Susan Hilferty Cotton, satin, lace, Lurex, net, velvet, cotton braid, chenille, chiffon, organza and synthetic hair (costume), cotton rep (hat), leather (boots) Given by Wicked London Productions Ltd. Museum nos. S.502:1 to 3-2016, S.503-2016, S.504:1, 2-2016(07/03/2022)
Credit line
Given by Wicked London Productions Ltd.
Object history
This costume was made for and worn by Kerry Ellis who was the standby for Idina Menzel when the production opened in London on 27th September 2006. Idina Menzel had starred as Elphaba in New York and when the production transferred to London Kerry Ellis, the first British actress to play Elphaba, took over the role in January 2007.



The award-winning costume designer Susan Hilferty, when asked by curator Cathy Haill how visiting museums and specifically the V&A influenced her work, replied in January 2020:

'I grew up in a working-class family with very little access to the arts. We did however, have a passion for books. In our local library I found that I held the universe in my hands. Opening a book let me travel across the globe, burrow into the earth and fly into the heavens. I met Shakespeare and da Vinci. I traveled across medieval England through The Canterbury Tales. I learned to draw and build an arch through books. My dad read us the encyclopedia from A-Z. When I arrived in London as a student, I had a class in the library of the V&A which made me believe I had gone to heaven. I spent enraptured hours copying into my sketch book details of garments from across the centuries. I walked through the galleries on my class day each week and met Michelangelo's David as well as the characters woven into medieval tapestries. For me the entirety V & A has always been a "library" that I visit each time I arrive in London. Each time I wander the galleries like an explorer. I know my life was forever changed when I walked into the V&A for the first time. For good.'
Association
Summary
Costume worn by Kerry Ellis as Elphaba in the musical Wicked, designed by Susan Hilferty and made by Eric Winterling Inc. With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman, Wicked is based on Gregory Maguire's 1995 novel Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, an alternative adult perspective on the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and Frank Baum's original 1900 novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.



Kerry Ellis was the standby for Idina Menzel when Wicked opened in London at the Apollo Victoria Theatre on 27 September 2006. Menzel had starred as Elphaba in the original Broadway production (opening at the Gershwin Theatre on 30 October 2003), and played the role when the production first transferred to London. Ellis took over as Elphaba in January 2007.



Susan Hilferty's costume designs for the musical Wicked were inspired by William Wallace Denslow's illustrations to Frank Baum's 1900 children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.When Elphaba appears as a schoolgirl Hilferty designed her long brown hair to be worn as a plait, but as an adult witch her long brown hair flows down over her shoulders, its straight lines contrasting with the curved witch's hat and its upswept brim. The correct wig, often designed by the stage designer, is an essential part of the look of most stage characters.



Wicked has broken box office records in cities around the world since its opening at Broadway's Gershwin Theatre in 2003. It opened in London at the Apollo Theatre in Victoria on 28th April 2006. The musical tells the story of the witches of Oz, and focuses on the relationship between the two witches Elphaba and Glinda. Susan Hilferty has designed costumes for more than 300 productions all round the world, and in 2004 was awarded the Tony Award for best costume design and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design for her designs for Wicked.
Associated objects
Collection
Accession number
S.502:1 to 3-2016

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Record createdMay 25, 2016
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