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Madame Morrible
Biographical information


Hair color



Gillikin, Oz


Shiz University, Shiz, Gillikin, Oz




Headmistress of Crage Hall at Shiz University
Cohort to the Wizard of Oz


Sorcery teacher
Press secretary



Behind the scenes
First appearance

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (1995)

Last appearance

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (1995)


Carole Shelley (originally)

"Animals should be seen and not heard."

—Madam Morrible, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

Madame Morrible was the headmistress of Crage Hall in Shiz University and a cohort of The Wizard in Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, as well as in the Musical Adaptation. She is one of the major antagonists of the first novel.

In the musical, she is responsible for the death of Nessarose by bringing Dorothy Gale to Oz.

In the NovelsEdit



Susan Hilferty's sketch of Madame Morrible's Shiz costume.

Madame Morrible is described as a "fish faced Gillikinese woman", and uses Shiz to recruit young girls as soldiers and spies for the Wizard, though she does not directly influence him. Madame Morrible believes that Animals (i.e. sentient animals) should be "seen and not heard," which she states at a poetry reading, known as a 'Quell'. She often has a Tik-Tok machine man called Grommetik to do her bidding, and later commands this creature to kill the Goat scientist Doctor Dillamond, which Ama Clutch — the chaperone of Galinda — witnesses. Following the murder, Ama Clutch loses her grip on reality and begins to talk to inanimate objects as though they are people, a condition which gradually deteriorates until it results in her death. Galinda had previously lied to Madame Morrible by telling her that Ama Clutch was prone to fits of delirium whose symptoms included such hallucinations; since she had told no one else this lie, it is strongly implied that the condition was the result of a spell placed upon Ama Clutch by Morrible to prevent her from revealing the truth about Doctor Dillamond's murder.

At the funeral of Ama Clutch, Madame Morrible suggests to Nessarose, Elphaba, and Glinda that the three become "Adepts" of Quadling Country, Munchkinland and Gillikin respectively. This would grant them political dominion over these areas, but, as Morrible admits, is in fact a way of maintaining the Wizard's authority in the far-flung regions of Oz. Only Elphaba is known to have rejected the offer; it is never said whether Glinda or Nessarose agree, though both later say Morrible was merely being overly dramatic. However each of them do ultimately find themselves in position of authority in a region in Oz: Nessarose becomes the Eminent Thropp of Munchkinland (a.k.a. "Wicked Witch of the East"), Elphaba resides over the Vinkus as the "Wicked Witch of the West", and Glinda comes to be known in Gillikin as the Good Witch of the North. Later in the novel, Elphaba speculates that Madame Morrible was a sorceress, and may somehow have influenced events to bring the three to power despite their original refusal. The theory of Morrible having magical powers is indeed probably correct, as she successfully immobilized the three girls with a binding spell while speaking to them of their future as Adepts, as well as somehow making it impossible for them to discuss the matter afterward. She also claimed that her "special talent is to encourage talent", which may support the latter theory as well.

Throughout the novel, Elphaba stands by her belief that Madame Morrible was behind the death of Doctor Dillamond. While involved in a resistance movement against the Wizard, Elphaba is assigned to assassinate Madame Morrible, who is staying in the Emerald City. However, Morrible surrounds herself with children, and Elphaba is forced to abandon her plan to avoid harming innocent bystanders. Toward the end of the story, Elphaba travels to Shiz and tries to kill Madame Morrible by bashing her head in with a marble trophy, but is five minutes too late, and ends up merely assaulting the woman's corpse (though she later takes credit for having killed her).

In the MusicalEdit


Carole Shelley as Madame Morrible

In the musical, Madame Morrible plays a much bigger role as the antagonist. She discovers Elphaba's talent for sorcery on the day the girl arrives at Shiz, and insists upon training her personally, as well as suggesting to the Wizard that she be brought before him with a view to making her his "magic Grand Vizier". At this audience, Madame Morrible tricks Elphaba into using her powers to create winged monkeys for the Wizard. When Elphaba realizes her mistake and flees, Madame Morrible spreads the rumor that she is a Wicked Witch, in order to turn the citizens of Oz against her. In contrast to the novel, she is explicitly shown to possess magical powers, being especially talented at controlling the weather. By use of this ability, she is later responsible for creating the cyclone that kills Nessarose (the Wicked Witch of the East) and brings Dorothy Gale into the Land of Oz. She is present when the Wizard sends witch-hunters to kill Elphaba, and dismisses Glinda's protests at this course of action, claiming that she knows Glinda harbored a desire for revenge after Elphaba ran off with Fiyero.

Tn-500 wicked natl tour donna vivino, myra lucretia taylor & katie rose clarke c joan marcusm

Myra Lucretia Taylor as Madame Morrible with Vivino as Elphaba and Clarke as Glinda.

Since the musical is more oriented to younger audiences and families, Madame Morrible is not killed in that adaptation as she was in the original novel. Instead, Glinda orders the royal guards of Oz to take Madame Morrible to prison. Madame Morrible's costumes are very long and awkwardly shaped in the musical, as if to show her bizarre and unshaped personality. The ends of the sleeves normally drop down very far, either just with fuzz, or with a pap between the top and bottom.


Solos (In A Duet)Edit

Solos (In A Group Number)Edit


  • Susan Hilferty stated in multiple interviews that Madame Morrible is her favorite character and design aspect of the show.
  • Carole Shelley stated in an interview that in her portrayal, the hairline of her wigs would recede the more evil Morrible was showing herself to be.
  • In the German production she is named "Madame Akaber"
  • Isabel Keating, who plays Madame Morrible in the 2nd National Tour, starred as Judy Garland in The Boy from Oz on Broadway in 2003.



Fernanda Tapia as Madame Morrible.

Broadway ProductionEdit

  • Carole Shelley (2003-2005, 2007-2008)
  • Rue McClanahan (2005-2006)
  • Carol Kane (2006)
  • Jayne Houdyshell (2006-2007, 2008-2009)
  • Miriam Margoyles (2008)
  • Kathy Santen (2008)
  • Rondi Reed (2009-2010)
  • Kathy Fitzgerald (2010-2011, 2014-2015, 2016)
  • Randy Danson (2011-2013)
  • Carol Kane (2013-2014)
  • Mary Testa (2014-2015)
  • Michele Lee (2015-2016)
  • Judy Kaye (2016)
  • Sheryl Lee Ralph (2016-2017)
  • Rondi Reed (2017-2018)
  • Isabel Keating (2018-Present)

Broadway UnderstudiesEdit

  • Jan Neuberger
  • Lorna Ventura
  • Adinah Alexander
  • Kathy Deitch
  • Barbara Tirrell
  • Kathy Santen (2006-Current)
  • Gaelen Gilliland
  • Screen Shot 2018-04-07 at 2.51.33 PM

    Isabel Keating and Jessica Vosk 2nd National Tour

    Sarah Bolt
  • Betsy Werbel (2011-2015)
  • Dioni Michelle Collins (temporary)
  • Dina Bennett
  • Sheila Karls
  • Erin Wilson (Current)

1st National TourEdit

  • Carol Kane (2005)
  • Carole Shelley (2005-2006)
  • Alma Cuervo (2006-2007; 2007-2008; 2011)
  • Barbara Tirrell (2007)
  • Myra Lucretia Taylor (2008-2009)
  • Randy Danson (2009-2011)
  • Jayne Houdyshell (2010; temporary)
  • Liz McCartney (2011-2012)
  • Jody Gelb (2012; 2013 temporary)
  • Kim Zimmer (2012-2013, Current)
  • Alison Fraser (2013-2014)

1st National Tour UnderstudiesEdit

  • Barbara Tirrell
  • Brooke Elliott
  • Kathy Deitch
  • Leslie Becker
  • Celisse Henderson
  • Renée Lawless-Orsini
  • Betsy Werbel
  • Melanie Field
  • Pamela Shandrow
  • Dina Bennett
  • Sheila Karls
  • Erin Wilson

Chicago ProductionEdit

Chicago UnderstudiesEdit

  • Kathy Santen
  • Dioni Michelle Collins
  • Jill Hayman
  • Mindy Reid

West End (London) ProductionEdit

  • Miriam Margoyles (2006-2007)
  • Susie Blake (2007-2008)
  • Harriet Thorpe (2008-2010; 2013)
  • Julie Legrand (2010-2012)
  • Louise Plowright (2012-2013)
  • Sue Kelvin (2013-2014) 
  • Lisa Sadvoy (2014-2016) 
  • Anita Dobson (2016- 2017) 
  • Sue Kelvin (2017) 
  • Melanie la Barrie (2017-Present) 

West End UnderstudiesEdit

  • Kerry Washington
  • Nadine Cox
  • Aileen Donohoe
  • Jennifer Tierney
  • Shirley Jameson
  • Jacqueline Hughes
  • Tania Mathurin
  • Melissa Jacques
  • Kerry Enright (Current)
  • Steph Parry
  • Claudia Kariuki (Current)

Los Angeles ProductionEdit

  • Carol Kane (2007, 2008-2009)
  • JoAnne Worley (2008)

Los Angeles UnderstudiesEdit

  • Linda Kerns
  • Dioni Michelle Collins

Stuttgart ProductionEdit

  • Angelika Wedekind (2007-2008)
  • Barbara Raunegger (2008-2010)

Stuttgart UnderstudiesEdit

  • Francesca Taverni
  • Jessica Lantto
  • Helena Blöcker
  • Juliana De Aquino

Melbourne ProductionEdit

  • Maggie Kirkpatrick (2008-2009)

Melbourne UnderstudiesEdit

  • Johanna Allen
  • Zoe Gertz

San Francisco ProductionEdit

  • Carol Kane (2009)
  • Patty Duke (2009-2010)
  • Jody Gelb (2010-2011)

San Francisco UnderstudiesEdit

  • Fiama Fricano
  • Celisse Henderson
  • Annie Funke

2nd National TourEdit

  • Marilyn Caskey (2009-2011, 2011-2012)
  • Jody Gelb (2011)
  • Alma Cuervo (2011; temporary)
  • Gina Ferrall (2012-2013)
  • Kathy Fitzgerald (2013-2014)
  • Kristine Zbornik (2014-2015)
  • Wendy Worthington (2015-2016)
  • Isabel Keating (2016-2017)
  • Judy Kaye (2017-Present)

2nd National Tour UnderstudiesEdit

  • Jenn Furman
  • Erin Wilson
  • Tory Ross
  • Linda Griffin
  • Jane Brockman
  • Erin Wilson (Temporary)
  • Bridie Carroll (Current)
  • Tregoney Shepherd (Current)

Auckland, New ZealandEdit

  • Maggie Kirkpatrick

Sydney ProductionEdit

  • Maggie Kirkpatrick (2009-2010)

Sydney UnderstudiesEdit

  • Johanna Allen
  • Zoe Gertz

Oberhausen ProductionEdit

  • Barbara Raunegger (2010-2011)

Oberhausen UnderstudiesEdit

  • Helena Blöcker
  • Christina Maria Brenner

Australian TourEdit

  • Maggie Kirkpatrick
  • Geraldine Turner (temporary)

Australian Tour UnderstudiesEdit

  • Zoe (Gertz) Jarrett
  • Andrea Arena

Scheveningen ProductionEdit

  • Pamela Teves (2011-2013)

Scheveningen UnderstudiesEdit

  • Penny Vos (2011-2013)
  • Sandra Wijnhout (2011-2013)

Asian TourEdit

  • Anne Wood (2011-2012)
  • Maggie Kirkpatrick (2012)

Asian Tour UnderstudiesEdit

  • Naomi Livingston
  • Greta Sherriff

​Helsinki, Finland (2010-2011)Edit

  • Ursula Salo

Helsinki UnderstudiesEdit

  • Leenamari Unho

​Copenhagen, Denmark (2011)Edit

  • Marianne Mortensen

Mexico City Edit

  • Anahi Allue (Orignal)
  • Fernanda Tapia (Oct, 2014)

UK / Ireland tourEdit

  • Marilyn Cutts

Brazilian Production Edit

  • Adriana Quadros (2016)

External LinksEdit