'I dropped to my knees and started crying.' The story of how Sheridan Adams landed the lead role in the Australian production of Wicked.

Wicked The Musical
Thanks to our brand partner, Wicked The Musical

Wicked is a musical that has always defied the odds. 

Ever since premiering on Broadway 20 years ago, Wicked has cemented itself as one of the most successful and popular musicals in the world. 

The musical has won more than 100 major awards since its debut, including the Grammy Award, the Olivier Award, six Helpmann Awards, three Tony Awards, and six Drama Desk Awards, and is now making its highly anticipated return to Sydney this month.

Starring in Wicked are Courtney Monsma as Glinda, Sheridan Adams as Elphaba, Robyn Nevin in the role of Madame Morrible, Todd McKenney as the Wizard, Liam Head as Fiyero, Adam Murphy playing Dr Dillamond, Shewit Belay in the role of Nessarose and Kurtis Papadinis as Boq.

Based on the bestselling novel Wicked by Gregory Maguire, the musical tells an alternative backstory to The Wizard of Oz, long before Dorothy arrived on the scene. 

In the musical Elphaba (soon to be Wicked Witch of the West) and Glinda (later Glinda the Good Witch) are forced to share a room while studying at Shiz University, and the two young women grow from enemies to unlikely best friends, despite the fact they both fall in love with the dashing Fiyero.


When Elphaba becomes an activist to help the animals of Oz maintain their rightful place, she and Glinda travel to Oz to ask the Wizard for help, but soon Elphaba is framed as the villain.

Wicked has long been known for its visually spectacular staging (think flying brooms and monkeys) show-stopping tunes and Elphaba's emotional journey, making the role originated by Idina Menzel one every performer dreams of bringing to life.

This was certainly the case for Sheridan Adam, who will star as Elphaba in the 20th anniversary of the musical which will open at the Sydney Lyric from August 25.

After graduating from the Victoria College of the Arts, Sheridan performed in the ensemble of Tick, Tick… Boom! and in Cruel Intentions: The '90s Musical, but her upcoming debut as Elphaba marks the performer's first professional leading role.


“It’s basically my dream role," Sheridan told Mamamia, while taking a break from Wicked's intense rehearsal period. "It’s one of the most iconic roles in music theatre, so I'm really grateful I'm getting to do it. 

“I graduated in 2019 from university and when COVID hit I remember thinking 'will musical theatre still exist after this?'," she continued. "What is the world going to look like post-COVID? What will the arts look like?' I really didn't want to give up musical theatre.


“When I started the audition process for Wicked I didn't have an agent. I was just crossing my fingers and really hoping that I'd at least get into the room for an audition."

Sheridan said she originally auditioned for an ensemble part in Wicked, but would have happily taken on even the smallest role just to be part of the production. 

"I joked with my mum that I'd even hold a broom and sweep backstage, just to be part of it," she laughed. “When I found out I had the role, I dropped to my knees and started crying, and I was I was in public. Then I drove to my parent's house to tell them the news."

Over the years Wicked has been performed in 16 countries. While Sheridan grew up listening to the soundtrack and watching Broadway performances of the show on YouTube, she and the cast are set on making this upcoming Australian performance uniquely their own.

“We've been in rehearsal for three weeks now and we've been doing some really intense exploration and scene analysis," Sheridan told Mamamia." We've had a lot of discussions, table readings, and rehearsals all trying to figure out what the show will be. So now the show has a shape, a skeleton. 

“There are so many Elphabas in the world and everyone has their favourite," she continued. "It's a lovely thing that it's been running for 20 years. I think the beautiful thing about all the Elphabas being so different is that we all have the creative freedom to make the role our own."


While Wicked is known for its show-stopping song Defying Gravity, Sheridan said she loves that the complexity, humour, and passion of Elphaba is so beautifully explored throughout the show via the musical moments.

“I love performing As Long As You’re Mine, I just adore singing it," she said of the show's big romantic number. 

"And No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, that’s the moment where Elphaba really lets loose. She's tried everything up until that moment and now she has to fight for what she believes in. She’s going through this huge emotional journey and I’m excited to bring that to the stage. 

“And one thing I've discovered throughout this rehearsal process is just how good the show really is," she concluded. "It has not needed to be updated in all these years, it really was just so ahead of its time.

"I'm also so grateful to be working with the creative team that helped bring Wicked to Broadway, I can't wait for people to see our show."

Wicked flies into the Sydney Lyric Theatre on August 25. The show is now selling to December 10 with best availability for tickets from October. Head to Ticketmaster to secure your seats.

Feature Image: Supplied.

Wicked The Musical
Winner of over 100 major awards including the Grammy Award, the Olivier Award, six Helpmann Awards, three Tony Awards® and six Drama Desk Awards, WICKED is “A Complete Triumph! An original musical that will make you laugh, cry and think” (USA Today). Long before Dorothy dropped in, two other young women meet in the land of Oz. One born with emerald-green skin is smart, fiery, misunderstood and possessing an extraordinary talent. The other is bubbly, blonde, ambitious and exceptionally popular. They become rivals, then friends...until the world decides to call one “good” and the other one “wicked.”