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Life has been very hard. If you can hear me when I cannot hear myself ...you could help me do no harm in this world. That's all I want – to do no harm.
— Elphaba, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

Elphaba Thropp, aka the Wicked Witch of the West, is the green skinned protagonist in the best selling fictional novel titled Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, published in 1995. The Wicked Witch of the West is the antagonist created by author L. Frank Baum from his 1900 Oz novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and most notably in the 1939 MGM film, The Wizard of Oz, portrayed by late actress Margaret Hamilton.

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Wicked

Elphaba is also the main character of the very successful Broadway Musical of the same name. Rather book or stage adaptation the story itself is a much more mature and slightly darker version of the first American Fairy-tale; The Wizard of Oz which combines many key elements from the iconic 1939 movie by MGM and the original 1900 book titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by children's author L. Frank Baum.

Author Gregory Maguire payed homage to Baum and formulated Elphaba's unique name out of L. Frank Baum's name, taking the phonetic pronunciation of his initials: hence, L.F.B became El-pha-ba.

Unlike the one eyed Wicked Witch in Baum's original Oz book from 1900, Elphaba's appearance in Wicked is based upon Margaret Hamilton's portrayal of the Wicked Witch from the 1939 film.

Elphaba Thropp of Oz

The novel...

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Elphaba Thropp was born in Rush Margins, a rural area of Munchkinland in the Land of Oz. Unlike any other Ozian, she was mysteriously born with florescent bright green skin. In addition to the green skin, she was born with a full set of teeth, as well as a strange scientifically inexplicable allergy towards water, which causes it to painfully burn her to the bone like acid. Since she cannot bathe like normal people, Elphaba must sponge bathe herself in private with a special type of liquid oil to keep clean instead. Regardless of her bizarre skin condition, Elphaba seems to be a very normal young lady in all other aspects. She is highly intelligent, ambitious, cynical, an independent thinker and a tomboy at heart. Due to her family's noble blood, she is tall, unlike most diminutive Munchkinlanders who are short in stature.

Elphaba was the biological daughter of Melena Thropp, the Thropp 2nd Descending and heiress to the title of Eminent Thropp, and of Oscar Zoroaster Diggs, who would one day be known as the Wizard of Oz. However, years before he took over all of Oz, Diggs seduced and drugged Melena with a green "Miracle Elixir" so Melena did not recall the experience and Elphaba grew up believing her stepfather, the Unionist minister Frexspar, as her biological father. It is hinted that the green potion is what caused Elphaba's skin condition and that her Earthly lineage is what allows her to read the Grimmerie, due to Oz having a different writing system. This eventually allowed Elphaba to practice the book's magic spells that no one else in Oz could understand.

Early Life

Elphaba would only live in Rush Margins of Munchkinland for the first couple of years of her life. Shortly after her birth, Melena turned into a alcoholic and called on the aid of her childhood Nanny to help care for Elphaba. When Elphaba was a toddler, her parents were acquainted with Turtle Heart, a Quadling glassblower, who would later become lover to both. When Elphaba was about three, her family was apparently ran out of Rush Margins and forced to flee to her mother's childhood home of Colwen Grounds, where the glass blower named Turtle Heart, who was the lover of both Elphaba's parents was sacrificed to Clock of The Time Dragon to relieve a drought on the same day that Melena gave birth to her beautiful, handicapped daughter Nessarose. As both her daughters are disfigured, Melena believes this is punishment from the "Unnamed God" for her infidelity.

Growing up, Elphaba is a social outcast, not by choice though. Her mother, embarrassed by her green skin, never let her come in contact with other children. Eventually, Nanny convinces Melena to allow her daughter to play with others, hoping this would allow Elphaba to form some sort of armor to protect her and make her stronger later in life. The local children are cruel and bully the green girl mercilessly. Along with social pressures and hardships, Elphaba is growing up in a time period taking a turn for the worse economically and socially for the land. With the Wizard as ruler, everything is drastically changing as Oz is becoming segregated and racist, especially between the people and talking Animals who once lived comfortably hand in hand in Oz. Now Animals are being treated poorly due to the Wizard's government system which has created a structure for Oz that parallels the events of the Nazi Germany's Holocaust and the turmoil of the Great Depression. This explains why there are no talking Animals ever seen in the Emerald City. In L. Frank Baum's original story there where no animals in Emerald City either. In Wicked this is because Animals are strictly not allowed. (Animals should be seen and not heard)

The guilt over Turtle Heart's death lead Frex and Melena to become missionaries in the southern quadrant of Oz known as the Quadling Country. When Elphaba is eight, her mother dies giving birth to her little brother Shell, who would one day become Emperor of Oz. Since Melena died, Nanny took on the role of mother to the Thropp children. Elphaba later says that she used to sing to the converts her father visited. At the age of 17, she was accepted to Crage Hall, the all-female college at Shiz University.

Shiz University

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Elphaba with Dr. Dillamond

After being accepted to Crage Hall, Elphaba is paired off to room with Galinda Upland, a beautiful, spoiled and highly privileged Gillikinese girl of noble blood who was also been blessed with fair skin, attractive features, and curly golden hair. At first Galinda is repulsed and uncomfortable around Elphaba, due both to her green skin and lack of social standing. Elphaba slowly grows to like Galinda and concludes that she isn't such an unpleasant roommate after all, one who is more crafty and gifted than she is credited for. Elphaba also meets Boq, a former playmate from Rush Margins who soon becomes a close friend. During the first summer, Elphaba works as an assistant to Doctor Dillamond, a Goat professor who is trying to find the difference between Animals and humans. She was assisted by Boq, and Boq's friends, Crope and Tibbett, who help her get information from the Briscoe Hall library.

At the end of the summer, Elphaba travels to visit Galinda at her summer home, only to discover it to be a prank by one of Galinda's friends. At the start of the second year, Elphaba's life turns dramatically when Dillamond is murdered and Glinda's chaperone, Ama Clutch, is incapacitated, forcing Elphaba to call Nanny to replace her, and Nessarose to begin school at Shiz early. The accident also brings Elphaba closer to Galinda (or Glinda as she is now known) and allows Elphaba to form a circle of friends. Elphaba continues to believe Dillamond was murdered, despite official claims he died accidentally, and this is confirmed by Ama Clutch on her deathbed. After Clutch is buried, Madame Morrible, the headmistress of Crage Hall, calls Elphaba, Glinda and Nessarose to her office and offers them to the chance of becoming Adepts of Magic, who would serve the Wizard, though she casts a spell on them so that they will not remember the offer until she speaks to them again. After this, Elphaba takes Glinda and goes to Oz's imperial capital called the Emerald City to show Dillamond's work to the Wizard. After a disappointing meeting, she parts ways with Glinda, telling her she will not return to Crage Hall, and later becomes a member of the resistance against the Wizard and his predjudi laws.

City Life

Five years later, Elphaba is a fully grown woman and resistance member of the Emerald City. She joins a terrorist movement with the goal of making real social change in the political scene of Oz, and she begins to view violence as a just means to enacting such change. However, her involvement in such acts is not explicitly detailed and it is unknown how many acts of terror she partook in or how many innocents possibly perished due to acts of terror committed by either her or her associates within the resistance movement. Due to the Wizard's hatred and obsession with her and all the negative propaganda surrounding her name later in her life, it is likely that she was involved in quite a bit of carnage, but it is not entirely clear.

Within this part of the book, the theme of terrorism is addressed throughout the text and especially in a discussion between Elphaba and her lover, Fiyero, who is seemingly against Elphaba's movement's use of vioence and/or murder. This makes the reader ponder whether or not violence is ever acceptable to enact change in society, even in situations where a group is being marginalized and oppressed, such as what was happening to the Animals of Oz.

Emerald City is indeed an elaborate establishment, prosperous and beautiful, filled with elegant palaces made of green marble and decorated with real emeralds and surrounded by attractive gardens. Despite all the beauty, the city did have what is described as a ghetto or a slum that had issues with crime, among other things. Elphaba lived in an abandoned building in a rather isolated section of the city, probably within said ghetto district. In this district, many of the residents are prostitutes, pimps, homeless people, thieves and drug dealers/addicts, etc.

One day Elphaba unexpectedly runs into Fiyero Tigelaar, an old friend from college. She tries to avoid him, but he catches her and they begin to meet in secret, which eventually becomes a love affair in which they both fall deeply in love. The secret relationship lasts for several months. On Lurlinemas Eve, she is assigned to assassinate Madame Morrible at a social event, but fails. At the same time, her apartment is raided and Fiyero is brutally killed out of spite to hurt Elphaba. This indicates that the Wizard and his people were secretly on to Elphaba, and likely also had plans to remove Fiyero from his throne in The Vinkus to open the provide up to further colonization and ecxploitstion by the Wizard's government.

Mauntery Life

Severely traumatized by the murder of her secret lover, Elphaba flees and permanently abandons her apartment. She has a severe mental breakdown and as a result she stops speaking entirely. A incoherent Elphaba eventually makes her way to a local mauntery (monastic convent). She falls into a deep coma like sleep which lasts for a year. During this time, she gives birth to her son, Liir, who she is not even sure is hers or not and almost never treats him as a son, despite him following her to the Vinkus. Despite this, she does on very rare occasions display motherly feelings for him, but is typically far more cruel and cold hearted towards him than she ever is kind. After recovering, she works as a maunt under the name of Sister Saint Aelphaba and takes a vow of silence. She spends most of her time cleaning floors by hand and working with dying patients. One day she meets the dying Tibbett, an old friend whom she befriended at Shiz, who encourages her to speak again and live her life. Tibbett's death also propels her to leave the convent after years of being verbally and emotionally shut down.

Kiamo Ko

Elphaba sets off for Kiamo Ko to seek forgiveness for the death of Fiyero from his wife, Sarima, who welcomes her and allows her to stay at Kiamo Ko along with Liir, who the maunts had sent along with Elphaba. She also introduces Elphaba to her sisters and her children: the naive, yet likable Nor, the childish eldest Irji, and the monstrous and cold hearted Manek, who notoriously torments his siblings, including Liir.

On the journey to Kiamo Ko, Elphaba encounters a number of animals, including an orphaned snow monkey who she calls Chistery and a wolf-dog called Killyjoy. She first encounters Chistery stranded on a small patch of land in the middle of a pond. Elphaba, being allergic to water, puts her fear aside and darts towards the water with the intention to save Chistery. It is then that her magic powers come out and the entire lake suddenly turns to ice, per her will, allowing her to cross and save Chistery, who she adopts. The wolf-dog Killyjoy came into Elphaba's life on the trip to Kiama Ko when she met a chef who owned him and it was strongly implied that he abused the creature. Elphaba, enraged, is implied to have murdered the chef by using her powers to "speak" to a swarm of bees, instructing them to fly to his campsite in the dead of night and sting him to death, which they do. The next morning, his corpse is discovered, covered in bee stings to the point he is barely recognizable, and Elphaba smiles at his death, making a sarcastic remark that implies that she is the cause of it, and she adopts Killyjoy, as well as the bees, whom decide to come along with her. These animals, among others, would become Elphaba's dearest companions and her familiars later in life.

Though Elphaba had only intended to stay at Kiamo Ko until she received Sarima's forgiveness, Sarima refuses to listen to her story and she resigns herself to living in the castle indefinitely. As Elphaba refuses to give her name, Sarima calls her 'Auntie,' although her children end up calling her "Auntie Witch" behind her back a name she eventually gives in to, even though she resents it.

While living at Kiamo Ko, Elphaba discovers the Grimmerie (a book containing vast magical knowledge) in the attic of the castle. Elphaba begins the study the book and practice magic. She begins to realize she has latent magical ability, having frozen a lake to save Chistery and made an icicle fall with her mind that kills one of Sarima's children - Manek, whom she viewed as worthy of death after he pulled a prank on Liir that nearly cost him his life. Elphaba did not seem to feel remorse for Manek's death.

One day, troops led by Commander Cherrystone came to Kiamo Ko, claiming they are on an exploration mission and need shelter, though Elphaba suspects they have more sinister motives. One day, she sees Fiyero's daughter, Nor, surprisingly riding on the broom she was given by the maunts and begins to learn to ride it herself. With the broom, she returns to Munchkinland to pay a visit to her family at Colwen Grounds, where Frexspar proposes that she and Nessarose work together to rule Munchkinland, now that it had seceded from Oz. Elphaba is shocked to discover that Nessarose is now a witch herself and has become somewhat of a religious dictator, devoting herself entirely to the Unnamed God and insisting that her spells are "miracles" in His name. It is here Elphaba witnesses the arrangement between a woman whose servant was a young lady who was going to marry a woodsman. The woman pleads to Nessarose to prevent their marriage, and Nessa enchants the woodsman's axe, which the woman had stolen, to magically attack him and strike off his limbs the next time he uses it. Elphaba, apparently remorseful for own involvement in terrorism and violence n her younger days, seems a bit perplexed by this confrontation, but turns the other cheek, ignoring it.

Elphaba, declining political power, ends up rejecting her sister's proposal to help her rule the East and thus, returns to Kiamo Ko, only to discover that everyone, but Nanny (who had come to live there after Nessarose's ascension) and Liir, had been captured and taken away. It is not long after this that Elphaba ironically finds herself in a position of great political power, with the tribes of the Vinkus "rallying around her" after the capture of their royal family and the furthering encroachment upon their territory by the Wizard's government, as she admits later in life.

Elphaba then makes it her mission to save them, but is unsuccessful due to her tragic ending.

The Matter of Dorothy

One day Elphaba received the news that her sister Nessarose, who had by now been given the nickname, the "Wicked Witch of the East", had been tragically killed. The cause of death was a fallen house that came from another dimension and unexpectedly fell out of the sky and crash landed in the heart of the Munchkinland. As fate would have it, the house crushed Nessarose to death who was handing out religious attendance awards to the Munchkins.

When Elphaba finally arrived in Munchkinland to attend Nessarose's funeral, she sees her father and Glinda again. Glinda now goes by "Lady Glinda" and is known as the respected "Good Witch of the North, having mastered the art of small magic. Glinda calmly tells Elphaba about the house's passenger who was aloft when it descended from the atmosphere. An adolescent girl by the name of Dorothy Gale from "Canziss" who was accompanied by a mangy pooch called Toto. Glinda explains that she sent Dorothy to see the Wizard to keep the girl from getting pulled into all the political chaos accruing in Munchkinland. Glinda also confesses that she gave the lost girl Nessarose's slippers and cast a spell upon them as protection to keep the girl from being seriously harmed on her journey. This outrages Elphaba, who is determined to get the shoes back as it is the only thing that she will have left of her sister.

Glinda's thoughtless actions cause her and Elphaba to have a falling out and as a result they never speak again. During this time Elphaba meets with the Wizard, who reveals he has Nor. To Elphaba's horror she sees that Nor has been held captive all these years, but stripped of her independence and has been beaten into submission and kept as a slave by the Wizard who then asks Elphaba for the Grimmerie to be given to him. Elphaba refuses unless he gives up Nor, but he claims she is his protection against her.

Elphaba sets out on her flying broomstick to find Dorothy who is oblivious that the Witch is after her. Dorothy is now following the yellow brick road and having her own set of adventures while she is on her way to see the Wizard. Elphaba then runs into Boq once more and they discuss the matter of Dorothy who spent the night at Boq's estate when passing through Munchkinland. When Boq tells Elphaba how charming Dorothy was Elphaba becomes offended and immediately sets off on her broom without saying goodbye.

Eventually Elphaba spots Dorothy who is by this point accompanied by three oddball companions that to Elphaba, looks like a straw man, a shiny woodman and a giant cat of sorts. She carefully eavesdrops to the group gossip about her when she sees her sisters shoes sparkling on Dorothy's feet. Just as Elphaba attempts to retrieve them it begins to rain, thus letting Dorothy get away while Elphaba takes cover under a tree to avoid contact with water. Afterwards Elphaba decides to go to Shiz with the intention of killing Madame Morrible. To Elphaba's dismay Morrible has already died of old age seconds prior, so Elphaba could only bash the dead woman's head in with a marble trophy. Nevertheless, she claims to be Morrible's killer while paying a visit to a dinner party held by Avaric, though she is not taken seriously as a murderer until much later. On the way back to Kiamo Ko while drunk, she meets the crew of the Clock, who put on a show revealing Elphaba's true parentage, which reveals to be none other than Elphaba's worst enemy, the Wizard. Elphaba does not believe it to be true.

A Melted Reflection

Back at Kiamo Ko, she finds the Miracle Elixir in Nanny's possessions and begins to drink it. However, she begins to have strange dreams that become haunting and nightmarish. So Elphaba makes up a potion to avoid falling asleep. However, the lack of sleep and paranoia over the Wizard having Nor and Dorothy having Nessarose's shoes start to take a toll on her mental health. When she finally learns Dorothy is on her way to Kiamo Ko, being sent by the Wizard himself, Elphaba notices the girl is still accompanied by the three oddball comrades from earlier.

Since the people in Oz are a superstitious bunch, no one in Oz dares to harm Dorothy due to the meaning of her name which means "Goddess of Gifts" and her coincidentally having the same last name as the Wizard's soldiers known as the "Gale Force". Added with the fact she also wears Nessrose's sparkling shoes, this makes Dorothy nearly untouchable. However, Elphaba believes the Scarecrow that accompanies the girl may indeed be Fiyero in a costume, coming back to her in a disguise. It also could be Fiyero's spirit inside, possessing the stuffed figure and giving it life. To find out if Fiyero is indeed still alive, rather in body or by spirit by any miracle, Elphaba then immediately sends out her animals to try to lead Dorothy to the Kiamo Ko castle. However, Elphabla's attempt backfires and all her pets are killed except the flying monkeys who bring Dorothy to the castle along with The Lion. The Scarecrow and Tin Woodman are left behind to wander on their own.

After a uncomfortable and disastrous meal, Elphaba pulls Dorothy into one of the castle's high towers in an attempt to straighten things out. While also assuming Dorothy had to be tied into the tapestry of conspiracies in Oz, Dorothy confesses that the Wizard sent her to kill Elphaba in exchange to be sent back to her home but Dorothy, being a mere child, cannot bring herself to do such a terrible task. Elphaba commands Dorothy to hand over the slippers, but the shoes are enchanted under the protection of Glinda and will not come off. Dorothy explains that the Wizard himself even tried to pry the shoes off and despite her efforts, the slippers simply will not come off her feet. Dorothy sincerely ask Elphaba for forgiveness in killing her sister, which psychologically and emotionally cripples Elphaba due to the fact she was never given the same chance with Sarima.

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Elphaba's last moments before being liquefied by Dorothy Gale.

Throughout the argument, Elphaba realizes that Dorothy reminds her of herself, as both Elphaba and Dorothy are misunderstood outsiders. At this time Liir and the Lion barge into the room and come to Dorothy's aid. But Elphaba takes Dorothy to the highest room in the tower and locks the door.

In a state of insanity and psychological defeat, Elphaba accidentally sets her own robes on fire by not paying attention to her surroundings. A frightened Dorothy quickly grabs a bucket near by that is filled with collecting rain water and without a second thought, throws the water at a panicking Elphaba to put out the fire and save the Witch who was ablaze.

Instead of saving the Witch, the water kills Elphaba and to Dorothy's horror she melts away before her very eyes.

Immediately after her death scene, the book gives a very strange description, speaking of a moment of startling pain, followed by "floods up above" and "fire down below," and the names of many people of prominence throughout the Witch's life are mentioned in peculiar detail, which could possibly be the Witch seeing the souls of said individuals, including her mother, Nessarose, Turtle Heart, Killyjoy and the Witch's other pets, Sarima, Dr. Dillamond, and "most of all" Fiyero, but individuals that are still living are also mentioned, such as Glinda, Boq, and Frex. So, whether or not the mentioned dead are actually the souls of the Witch's loved ones awaiting her ascension to the afterlife, or if they are merely hallucinations used as a literary device to better detail her tragic yet liberating death (like a life flashing before one's eyes) is unknown. The scene ends with a vague description of the Goddess of Gifts, reaching into the fire and water and pulling out the soul, cradling her. The rest remains unclear.

The novel ends by stating that there is no happy ending for a Witch, as no one mourns the Wicked. Mass celebrations all across loyal Oz occur, celebrating the death of the Wicked Witch of the West, with Dorothy being hailed a messiah of some sort, and the Wizard's abrupt resignation and departure and his secret suicide make many in the public wonder of conspiracy. Despite this, Oz erupts in turmoil, with Munchkinland still wanting to remain independent, and war likely to erupt between the tribes of the Vinkus and the Ozian army. Around the time of Witch's death, war broke out and many of the Arjikis in Elphaba's army died. Meanwhile, Dorothy supposedly left Oz, while many believed that she never left it at all, and Glinda the Good became the temporary throne minster of the empire.

And regarding the Wicked Witch of the West...

“And of the Witch? In the life of a Witch, there is no "after", in the "ever after" of a Witch there is no "happily"; in the story of a Witch, there is no afterword. Of that part that is beyond the life story, beyond the story of the life, there is - alas, or perhaps thank mercy - no telling. She was dead, dead, and gone, and all that was left of her was the carapace of her reputation for malice.”

"And there the wicked old Witch stayed for a good long time."

"And did she ever come out?"

"Not yet."

Gone But Not Forgotten

The bucket splash that killed the Wicked Witch of the West connects to the fable of Saint Aelphaba, for whom Elphaba is named after, who was said to disappear beyond a waterfall, and never return. This in turn ties Elphaba to the stories Sarima tells her children about a wicked witch who disappears into a cave. At the end of the story, the children always ask if the witch ever comes out, to which Sarima replies "not yet". At the end of the book, this dialogue is repeated, suggesting that Elphaba will eventually rise again. Just before being absorbed into the Grimmerie in A Lion Among Men, the oracle known as Yackle also claims that "She's coming back-", although to whom this refers is never made explicitly clear. In interviews, Maguire has stated that a witch may die but will always come back, no matter what. This very well hints that Elphaba is the subject of Yackle's prophecy. Though, it is likely the prophecy was referring to the long lost Ozma, who returns in the final book. However, in the final book, Nanny claims to have seen Elphaba the other day and Glinda is freed from her jail sentence by someone who she calls "wicked" and who she says "took her time". However, this could easily be Elphaba's granddaughter, Rain, who inherited her green skin.

Some fans believe that Elphaba is Rain, reborn into this world as a second chance to undo many of the wrongs of her previous life. Evidence for such is the fact that Rain is able to ride on Elphaba's broom (but so is Liir), she can read the grimmerie, and that she is apparently spoken to by the spirits of Elphaba's pets in Elphaba's quarters during her visit to Kiamo Ko, as well as what happens in Glinda's final scene, which is open to the reader to interpret for themself.

In the Musical

Act I

Elphaba Thropp, the daughter of the governor of Munchkinland, is ostracized for her electric-green skin. She attends the university of Shiz in the magical land of Oz. When Elphaba arrives she is mercilessly shunned for being different. Soon she meets Galinda Upland, the rich and spoiled girl who becomes her roommate. The two young girls take an immediate dislike and loathe for each other. Not even Elphaba knows why she is green but it is explained that Elphaba was born with green skin because her mother drank green elixir on the night Elphaba was conceived. In a moment of anger, trying to help her sister Nessarose, Elphaba reveals an innate magical talent, which impresses Madame Morrible, the "Head Shiztress" of Shiz; she notes that Elphaba's talents may be of use to the Wizard of Oz, and promises to ask him for an audience. Elphaba is ecstatic! (The Wizard and I) Galinda and Elphaba, meanwhile, espouse their mutual loathing in a duet (What is this Feeling).

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Elphaba at Shiz

Elphaba meets Dr. Dillamond,  the Goat that teaches History at Shiz. He confides in Elphaba that things in Oz are not what they seem to be (Something Bad).

Galinda, while preparing for a party arranged by a carefree student named Fiyero, receives a black pointed hat in a box and gives it to Elphaba as a “present”; Elphaba arrives wearing the hat, only to be ridiculed. Defiant, she proceeds to dance alone and without musical accompaniment. Feeling guilty, Galinda joins her on the dance floor, marking the start of a new friendship between the two. (Dancing Through Life) After the dance, Galinda and Elphaba talk in their room; Galinda decides to give her new friend a makeover (Popular ).

The next day,  Ozian officials take away Doctor Dillamond. The new history teacher arrives with a caged lion cub (Cowardly Lion) as the subject of an in-class experiment, revealing that Animals that are kept in cages never will learn how to speak. Outraged, Elphaba's magical abilities show themselves, and she and Fiyero are able to rescue the cub themselves. The two realize that they may have feelings for each other, but Fiyero leaves, embarrassed. Elphaba takes refuge under a bridge and states that it would be impossible for someone like Fiyero to have feelings for someone like her (I'm Not That Girl ). It begins to rain, and Madame Morrible finds her and announces that she has been granted an audience with the Wizard. Morrible stops the rain, in order to keep Elphaba from getting too wet, announcing that weather is her specialty. At the train station, Galinda and Fiyero see Elphaba off to the Emerald City. In an attempt to impress Fiyero, Galinda announces that she will change her name to "Glinda" in honor of Doctor Dillamond's persistent mispronunciation. Fiyero seems not to notice, focusing his attention instead on Elphaba, and Elphaba, feeling bad for Glinda, invites her along to see the Wizard.

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Defying Gravity

After a day of sightseeing in the Emerald City (One Short Day), Elphaba and Glinda meet the Wizard. Eschewing the special effects that he employs for the benefit of most visitors, he invites Elphaba to join him. As a test, he asks that Elphaba give his monkey servant, Chistery, the ability to fly using the Grimmerie, an ancient book of spells. Elphaba demonstrates an innate understanding of the lost language, and successfully gives Chistery wings. Showing her how powerful she really is, the Wizard reveals a cage full of winged monkeys, and remarks that they will make good spies to report any subversive Animal activity. Realizing that she has been used and that the Wizard has no power of his own, Elphaba runs away with the Grimmerie, pursued by the palace guards.

Elphaba and Glinda run into the tallest tower, where they hear Madame Morrible declaring to all of Oz that Elphaba is a "Wicked Witch" and is to be distrusted. Elphaba enchants a broomstick to fly and tries to convince Glinda to join her in her cause, but Glinda cannot resist the call of popularity and refuses. Leaving Glinda behind, Elphaba flies off, promising to fight the Wizard with all of her power and Defy Gravity (Defying Gravity )

Act II

A few years pass, and Elphaba's exploits have earned her the title "The Wicked Witch of the West". Glinda regrets her decision (Thank Goodness) Elphaba arrives at the governor's residence in Munchkinland seeking refuge; Nessarose, now the governess, criticizes Elphaba for not using her new-found powers to help her sister. Guilty, Elphaba enchants Nessarose's jeweled shoes, enabling her to walk. Boq, Nessarose's servant, is summoned and reveals that his affection for Nessarose was put on and his heart lies with Glinda. Furious, Nessarose miscasts a spell from the Grimmerie, accidentally causing Boq's heart to shrink. While Elphaba attempts to save him, Nessarose reflects on how her obsession with Boq has led her to oppress the Munchkins. Elphaba saves Boq by turning him into the Tin Woodman; horrified, Nessarose lays the blame with Elphaba. (Wicked Witch of the East)

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Elphaba with the Wizard

Elphaba returns to the Wizard's palace in order to free the rest of the winged monkeys. The Wizard attempts to regain her favor by agreeing to set them free. (Wonderful) Upon discovering a now-speechless Doctor Dillamond among the monkeys, Elphaba rejects his offer and attempts to escape, but runs into Fiyero. Confirming his true love for Elphaba, he runs off with her. Glinda instructs Madame Morrible and the Wizard of Oz to spread a rumor about Elphaba's sister. They both agree a rumor is not enough, and once Glinda is gone, Madame Morrible decides a "change in the weather" would suffice. (I'm Not That Girl {reprise}) In the middle of the woods, Elphaba and Fiyero profess their love for each other. They are interrupted when Elphaba hears strange noises and sees houses flying through the air. She leaves, and goes off to find her sister. (As Long As You're Mine)

Once Dorothy is gone, Glinda falls to her knees and places flowers near where Nessa had been crushed by the house. Suddenly Elphaba appears, and soon finds out that Nessa's death was no accident. She and Glinda get into a fierce fight, and the Gale Force guards intercede, grabbing Elphaba under the Wizard's commands. Elphaba can't believe Glinda would use such a trick to capture her, and Fiyero arrives, telling the guards to "let the green girl go." Or else he would kill Glinda, and Fiyero convinces Elphaba to leave without him. He is taken out to a distant field, and it is implied he is beaten viciously. He is placed on a pole to represent turning into the scarecrow that Dorothy Gale will soon encounter.

As long as you're mine

Elphaba and Fiyero

Elphaba is in Kiamo Ko, Fiyero's castle, and she searches frantically through the Grimmerie trying to find a spell to help save Fiyero. She reflects on all of her past actions, and on how they have affected the people she has loved. She finally discovers that it is not worth trying to do good anymore and she is wicked. (No Good Deed) Later she learns that Dorothy, The Scarecrow, The Tin Woodman and The Cowardly Lion are coming to kill her as ordered by The Wizard.

As Elphaba yells at Dorothy who is heard crying while Elphaba looks down into a dungeon door that leads into the ground, she tells the girl to give her the slippers if she wants to see her Aunt and Uncle again. Glinda arrives at her castle to persuade her to let the little girl go and her dog, whom she incorrectly refers to as "Dodo" go as well. But Elphaba refuses and continues to harass Dorothy about the shoes. After receiving a note, she finally realizes what she has done wrong and how to fix it. She makes Glinda promise not to clear her name and to take charge in Oz, and the two say that they have changed because they knew each other (For Good). As the mob arrives at the castle, along with Elphaba's Winkie Guards and Flying Monkey's in tow, Dorothy runs through all the chaos and throws a bucket of water on Elphaba, 'melting' her. Elphaba's voice is heard shrieking and her shadow then shrinks away into the floor and disappears in a cloud of smoke.

Fiyero opens a trapdoor in the castle. Elphaba pops up from underneath and they reunite. Elphaba wishes that Glinda could know that she's alive. They leave Oz forever.

Differences between the 1900 book, the 1939 film and Wicked

In the musical Wicked, Elphaba is more beautiful, less cynical, more likable, and far more sympathetic than in the 1939 film.

The Oz characters by L. Frank Baum known as King Pastorius who was the last king of Oz before the Wizard took over, and the Fairy Queen Lurline who is responsible for making Oz the enchanted realm that it is, are both mentioned in the book as well as Pastorius's baby daughter and heir to Oz's throne, princess Ozma. However, in the stage adaptation, these three Oz characters are not seen nor mentioned.

Also, the Oz character by L. Frank Baum known as "Tik-Tok", the mechanical copper man of Oz who serves as Oz's Royal Army, makes a brief appearance in the book but is never mentioned nor seen in the play. However, L. Frank Baum's characters known as the Hammer-Heads from the original Oz book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, are seen in the play instead.

Jemma

Jemma Rix as Elphaba

In the book, Elphaba virtually goes mad, and genuinely becomes "wicked", though understandably so; however in the musical, she tries not to hurt anyone and just wants to help the Animals and the people she cares about. Liir, Sarima and her children are not present in the musical, instead, a love triangle with Fiyero, Elphaba and Glinda is formed. The young Elphaba shows interest in sorcery as soon as her powers are revealed, as opposed to having it thrust upon her as in the book. Elphaba is explicitly shown to survive at the end, and goes to live a life beyond Oz with Fiyero, where in the book her impending resurrection is only hinted. Elphaba is also the creator of the Tin Woodman (through a spell to save Boq, who had had his heart shrunken to apparent non-existence by Nessarose), the Scarecrow (through a spell with which she attempts to save Fiyero from being tortured to death on her account) and the Cowardly Lion (the Lion Cub she rescued from the class after Doctor Dillamond's removal); in the book the first is a result of an axe bewitched by Nessarose, and the scarecrow's existence has nothing to do with Fiyero, other than her slight suspicion that he might indeed be her love coming back to find her, which just proves to be a paranoid delusion. Elphaba also has a less significant vendetta with Madame Morrible in the musical than in the book: In the novel, Elphaba relentlessly attempts to kill Morrible, but in the musical, Elphaba has virtually nothing to do with her after the conclusion of the first act. Her relationship with Glinda (called "Galinda" until she renames herself in the latter part of the first act in honor of Doctor Dillamond) is a central feature of the musical. As in the novel, the two initially despise each other, but eventually develop a strong friendship. For a while, Elphaba goes along with Glinda's attempts to make her popular, but her rebellious and revolutionary nature ultimately forces her to reject both social and political popularity in favor of doing what she knows to be right in fighting to save the Animals. Just prior to Elphaba's supposed melting, the two confess that each has been changed by their friendship: Elphaba admits that Glinda was the only friend she ever had, and Glinda replies that Elphaba was the only friend she has ever had who really mattered.

KerryEllisElphaba

Kerry Ellis as Elphaba

Elphaba demonstrates a natural talent in the field of sorcery early in the musical, and is selected by Madame Morrible to be tutored personally. She progresses quickly, and is eventually called before the Wizard of Oz himself, with a view to becoming his "magic Grand Vizier". However, when she learns that the Wizard is in fact a powerless fraud, Elphaba steals the Grimmerie from him and sets herself up as a rebel. In retaliation, the Wizard has Madame Morrible spread the rumor that Elphaba is a "Wicked Witch", to turn the public against her. She becomes the subject of national hatred thereafter, and her attempts to convince the people as to the Wizard's corrupt rule are regarded as slander. As more and more of her friends turn against her, Elphaba gradually comes to accept her reputation as a villain, and the supposed death of Fiyero is what finally causes her to embrace it completely.

In the musical, Elphaba's aversion to water is no more than one of several ridiculous rumors started by those who fear her. Elphaba uses this to her advantage by disappearing when Dorothy throws a bucket of water at her, fooling everyone into believing she has been killed, even though she just went down a trapdoor.

Songs

Solos

Solos (In A Duet)

Solos (In A Group Number)

Others

Trivia

C.bowman

Caroline Bowman as Elphaba

  • The idea for Elphaba's Act 2 dress was as if she was from the center of the Earth.
  • The fabric for Elphaba’s Wicked Witch bodice is not actually one fabric. It is as many as 20 different fabrics, cut into pieces no bigger than 3” and quilted, cut, stitched, and quilted together.
  • The ruffles in the skirt of Elphaba’s Wicked Witch dress require 40 yards of fabric to complete.
  • It takes one person 2 weeks to sew the entire Act 2 dress together.
  • The Act 2 dress is said to weigh around 25 lbs, worth anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000, and has a zipper down the back that can be easily replaced.
  • There are 20 shades of Elphaba green skin (although the production only regularly use a few).
  • It usually takes about half an hour (depending on actress experience) for Elphaba to “greenify” every night.
  • The most famous actress to portray Elphaba is Idina Menzel. She was the original actress to play the role of Elphaba. Idina Menzel won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role (Musical) for her role as Elphaba in 2004. Idina Menzel returned to the role of Elphaba in the original West End cast in 2006, making her the first actress to perform in the West End and Broadway.
  • There are two almost identical dresses, one's the Shiz dress; the other is tighter for the party at the Ozdust.
  • In the musical, the wig for the second act is different from the first. It's longer with dark red or brown in it (it really depends on where the show is taking place).
  • On matinee days (days where there are two shows) the actress who plays Elphaba has to de-greenify herself in-between shows because between acts the green skin becomes more defined.
  • The fastest time for applying Elphaba's green make up was 7 minutes. Elphaba does not have a crone face, nor does she have the signature mole on her chin like in the 1939 film.
  • Most actresses playing Elphaba are mostly mezzo-sopranos (a soprano in a lower range or an alto in a higher range)
  • Danna Paola in the Mexican production is the youngest actress to play Elphaba at 18 years old.
  • Stephanie J. Block read for Elphaba in the workshops for Wicked.
  • Kerry Ellis is the only actress who has portrayed Elphaba four seperate times (throughout her time in the West End and Broadway). Kerry Ellis returned to the role of Elphaba in 2014, five years after her departure.
  • Jennifer DiNoia portrayed Elphaba on the West End, and is the fourth actress to have played the role in the West End and Broadway.
  • Jemma Rix starred in a 30-minute shortened version of the show at Universal Studios Japan. This required her to speak some lines in Japanese.
  • Willemijn Verkaik is the longest-running Elphaba, having played over 2,000 performances in Wicked internationally. She originated the role in Germany and the Netherlands, and also played it on Broadway and the West End.  Willemijn is the only actress who has played Elphaba in three different languages (German, Dutch, and English).

Portrayers

Broadway

Lindsay dg

Lindsay Mendez as Elphaba

Broadway Standbys

  • Eden Espinosa (October 2003-September 2004; also Nessarose u/s)
  • Shoshana Bean (September 2004-January 2005; also Nessarose u/s)
  • Saycon Sengbloh (January 2005-February 2007)
  • Lisa Brescia (February 2007-May 2008)
  • Julie Reiber (May 2008-December 2009)
  • Jennifer DiNoia (December 2009-August 2011; October 2012; August-September 2014) 
  • Donna Vivino (August 2011-October 2012; November 2012-November 2013)
  • Carla Stickler (November 2013; temporary)
  • Christine Dwyer (November 2013-February 2014, November 2015-January 2016)
  • Anne Brummel (February-August 2014)
  • Lilli Cooper (September 2014-June 2015)
  • Emily Koch (June-November 2015)
  • Alyssa Fox (February 2, 2016-June 2017)
  • Mariand Torres (June 2017-September 2018; current)
  • Laurel Harris (March - April 2018; September 2018-)

Broadway Understudies

  • Kristy Cates (October 2003- May 2005)
  • Brandi Chavonne Massey (May 2005-December 2006)
  • Caissie Levy (December 2006- October 2007)
  • Chelsea Krombach (October 2007-July 2009; December 2009- February 2010)
  • Maria Eberline (temporary) (July- December 2009)
  • Stephanie Torns (February 2010-November 2011; June 2014-August 2014)
  • Caroline Bowman (November 2011- August 2012)
  • Vicki Noon (August 2012- May 2013)
  • Anne Eilinsfeld (temporary) (November 2013-January 2014)
  • Carla Stickler (May 2013-June 2015; temp 2018) 
  • Desi Oakley (June-September 2015; May-June 2016) 
  • Hannah Shankman (September 2015-May 2016; July 2016-Current; also u/s Nessarose) 

1st National Tour

1st National Tour Standbys

  • Victoria Matlock (March 2006- January 2007)
  • Coleen Sexton (January-October 2007)
  • Donna Vivino (October 2007-November 2008)
  • Merideth Kaye Clark (November 2008-May 2010)
  • Mariand Torres (May 2010-February 2012)
  • Carla Stickler (February 2012-February 2013; also u/s Nessarose)
  • Laurel Harris (February 2013-February 2014; also u/s Nessarose)
  • Emmy Raver-Lampman (February 2014-March 2015)

1st National Tour Understudies

  • Jenna Leigh Green (also Nessarose) (March 2005-March 2006)
  • Maria Eberline (also u/s Nessarose) (March 2005-December 2006)
  • Marcie Dodd (also u/s Nessarose) (December 2006- December 2007)
  • Merideth Kaye Clark (December 2007- November 2008)
  • Stephanie Torns (November 2008-February 2010)
  • Carla Stickler (also u/s Nessarose) (February 2010- February 2012)
  • Ashley Dawn Mortensen (February 2012-February 2013;August 2014-January 2015)
  • Shayla Beck (also u/s Nessarose) (February 2013-August 2014; January-March 2015)

Chicago Production

Chicago Standbys

Chicago Understudies

  • Courtney Corey (2005-2006)
  • Dan'yelle Williamson (2006-2008)
  • Anne Brummel (2008-2009)

West End (London) Production

West End Standbys

West End Understudies

  • Cassidy Janson (September 2006-July 2007; also u/s Nessarose)
  • Ashleigh Gray (July 2007-June 2008)
  • Shona White (Emergency Cover-2009)
  • Sabrina Carter (June 2008-March 2010)
  • Stevie Tate-Bauer (March 2010-February 2011; also u/s Nessarose)
  • Jennifer Tierney (February-December 2011; also u/s Madame Morrible)
  • Gemma Atkins (February 2011-October 2012; also u/s Nessarose)
  • Michelle Pentecost (December 2011-November 2013)
  • Katie Rowley Jones (October 2012-November 2013)
  • Jacqueline Hughes (November 2013-September 2014; 2nd u/s)
  • Natalie McQueen (November 2013-September 2016; 1st u/s; also u/s Nessarose)
  • Laura Emmitt (October 2014-September 2016; 2nd u/s)
  • Jessamy Stoddart (September 2016-July 2017)
  • Alexandra Grierson (September 2016-July 2018)
  • Aimee Fisher (July 2017-present; also u/s Nessarose)
  • Rebecca Botterill (July 2018-present)

Los Angeles Production

  • Eden Espinosa (February-December 2007; October 2008-January 2009)
  • Caissie Levy (January 1-May 2008)
  • Teal Wicks (May-October 2008)

Los Angeles Standbys

  • Julie Reiber (February-November 2007)
  • Caissie Levy (November-December 2007)
  • Teal Wicks (January 1-May 2008)
  • Marcie Dodd (May-November 2008; also u/s Nessarose)
  • Vicki Noon (November 2008- January 2009)

Los Angeles Understudies

  • Courtney Corey (February 2007-March 2008;May-August 2008)
  • Marcie Dodd (March-May 2008, temporary; also Nessarose)
  • Angel Reda (August 2008- January 2009)

Stuttgart Production

Stuttgart Alternates

  • Sabrina Weckerlin (October 2007-November 2008)
  • Roberta Valentini (November 2008-January 2010)

Stuttgart Understudies

  • Roberta Valentini (October 2007-November 2008)
  • Melanie Gebhard (November 2008-January 2010)
  • Maria Walter (November 2008-January 2010)

Melbourne Production

  • Amanda Harrison (June 2008-August 2009)
  • Jemma Rix (June-August 2009; temporary)

Melbourne Standbys

  • Jemma Rix (June 2008-June 2009; August 2009)
  • Carmen Cusack (June-July 2009)

Melbourne Understudies

  • Patrice Tipoki (June 2008-June-2009)
  • Zoe Gertz (June-August 2009; also u/s Madame Morrible)

Japan Production

  • Hamada Megumi(Original)
  • Higuchi Asami
  • Imai Minori
  • Kimura Chiaki
  • Ebata Masae
  • Miyahara Kei

San Francisco Production

San Francisco Standbys

  • Vicki Noon (January-March 2009, May 2009-March 2010)
  • Merideth Kaye Clark (March-April 2009; temporary)
  • Dee Roscioli (April-May 2009; temporary)
  • Carrie Manolakos (March 9-30, 2010; temporary)
  • Felicia Ricci (March-September 2010)

San Francisco Understudies

  • Angel Reda (January 2009-February 2010)
  • Felicia Ricci (February-March 2010)
  • Alyssa Fox (March-September 2010)
AlyssaFox

Alyssa Fox as Elphaba

2nd National Tour

  • Marcie Dodd (March 2009- April 2010)
  • Vicki Noon (April 2010-January 2011)
  • Anne Brummel (January 2011- April 2012)
  • Christine Dwyer (May 2012-March 2013)
  • Jennifer DiNoia (April 3, 2013-April 2014) 
  • Laurel Harris (April 2014-January 2015)
  • Alyssa Fox (January-December 2015)
  • Emily Koch (December 2015-September 2016)
  • Jessica Vosk (September 2016-September 2017)
  • Mary Kate Morrissey (September 2017-October 2018; Current)

2nd National Tour Standbys

  • Carrie Manolakos (March 2009-March 2010)
  • Anne Brummel (March 2010-January 2011)
  • Christine Dwyer (January-December 2011)
  • Stephanie Torns (December 2011-October 2012)
  • Alyssa Fox (October 2012- January 2015)
  • Lilli Cooper (August 2014; temporary)
  • Madeline Trumble (October 2014-January 2015; temporary)
  • Emily Koch (January-June 2015)
  • Kennedy Caughell (June 18-29, 2016; temporary)
  • Mary Kate Morrissey (June 2015-August 2016)
  • Emily Schultheis (August 2016-August 2017)
  • Chelsea Emma Franko (August 2017-Present)

2nd National Tour Understudies

  • Natalie Weiss (March-April 2009)
  • Anne Brummel (April 2009- March 2010)
  • Christine Dwyer (March 2010- January 2011)
  • Laurel Harris (also u/s Nessarose) (January 2011-January 2012)
  • Anna Eilinsfeld (January 2012-February 2013; also u/s Nessarose)
  • Lilli Cooper (February 2013-February 2014)
  • Madeline Trumble (February-November 2014)
  • Shayla Beck (October 2014; temporary)
  • Kennedy Caughell (November 2014-June 2016)
  • Olivia Valli (June 2016-Current)

Tokyo Revival

  • Okamura Minami  

​1st UK/Ireland Tour

UK/Ireland Tour Standby

  • Jemma Alexander (September 2013 - August 2014)
  • Jacqueline Hughes (September 2014-July 2015)

UK/Ireland Tour Understudy

  • Zoë George (September 2013-July 2015) (also 2nd cover Nessarose)
  • Natasha Ferguson (September 2013-July 2015) (also 1st cover Nessarose)

2nd UK/Ireland tour

  • Amy Ross (November 2017-current)

2nd UK tour standby

  • Nikki Bentley (November 2017-current)

Understudies

  • Amy Webb (November 2017-current)
  • Amy Goodwin (November 2017-current)

Mexico City

  • Ana Cecilia Anzaldúa (October 2013- January 2015)
  • Danna Paola (October 2013- January 2015)

Mexico City Understudies

  • Edén Pintos (October 2013- January 2015)
  • Viviana Barrera (October 2013- January 2015)

Seoul, South Korea

  • Oak Joo Hyun (November 2013-May 2014)
  • Park Hye Na (November 2013-May 2014)
  • Kim Sun-Young (May-October 2014)

Seoul Understudy

  • Kim Ga Hee (November 2013- October 2014)

Sydney Production

  • Amanda Harrison (September-November 2009)
  • Jemma Rix (November-December 2009; temporary)
  • Jemma Rix / Pippa Grandison (December 2009-May 2010)
  • Jemma Rix / Patrice Tipoki (May-September 2010)

Sydney Standbys

  • Jemma Rix (September-November 2009)
  • Jennifer DiNoia (November-December 2009; temporary)

Sydney Understudies

  • Zoe Gertz (September 2009-September 2010; also u/s Madame Morrible)

Australian Tour

  • Jemma Rix (January-September 2011)

Australian Tour Standby

  • Laura Bunting (January-September 2011)

​Australian Tour Understudy

  • Zoe Jarrett (January-September 2011; also u/s Madame Morrible)

Oberhausen Production

Oberhausen Alternates

Oberhausen Understudies

  • Melanie Gebhard (March 2010-September 2011)

Scheveningen (Dutch) Production

Scheveningen Alternate

  • Renée van Wegberg (October 2011-January 2013)

Scheveningen Understudy

  • Bettina Holwerda (October 2011-July 2012)
  • Suzanne de Heij (July 2012-January 2013)

Asian Tour Production

  • Jemma Rix (December 2011- October 2012)

Asian Tour Standbys

  • Zoe (Gertz) Jarrett (December 2011-May 2012)
  • Jennifer DiNoia (May 2012-October 2012)

Asian Tour Understudies

  • Gretel Scarlett (December 2011- October 2012; also u/s Nessarose)

Helsinki City Theatre Production (non-replicated version)

  • Maria Ylipää (2010-2011)

Helsinki Understudy

  • Raili Ruutu

Copenhagen Production (non-replicated version)

  • Maria Lucia Heiberg Rosenberg (2011)

Copenhagen Understudy

  • Christina Elisabeth Mørkøre (1st u/s)
  • Caroline Glomnes Johansen (2nd u/s)

Australia/Asian Tour

  • Jemma Rix (September 2013-June 2015)

Australia Standby 

  • Ali Calder (September 2013-May 2014; June 2014-June 2015) 
  • Lilli Cooper (May-June 2014;temporary) 

Australia Understudy 

  • Sophie Wright (September 2013-June 2015)

Brazilian Production

Brazil Standby

  • Talita Real (February-October 2016)

Brazil Understudy

  • Roberta Jafet (February-December 2016)

International Tour

  • Jacqueline Hughes (July 2016-June 2017)  
  • Jodie Steele (June-July 2017)  

International Tour Standby

  • Jodie Steele (September 2016-June 2017)

International Tour Understudy

  • Natasha Ferguson (July 2016-June 2017; 1st u/s)
  • Zoë George (July 2016-June 2017; 2nd u/s)
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