Students were off to see the wizard yesterday, travelling the tarmac road to London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre for an evening at the Broadway hit musical ‘Wicked’. This tale warmed and wrenched the heart in equal measure, telling the story of the so-called Wicked Witch of the West, or Elphaba as she was personally known ―breaking away from the traditional clear-cut tale of good witch vs. wicked, Winnie Holzman’s adaptation tracks a more complicated backstory for the witches of Oz, one that sees an innocent Elphaba framed as an evildoer by the charlatan Wizard.
The performance was a stunning one. Students left the theatre thoroughly moved, and determined to give apparently villainous characters a more understanding glance in the future. They returned home to St Catz after a long and eventful day: aside from the musical, students had had their minds and eyes thoroughly opened in Alasdair Griffett’s Chemistry class, as he informed them that “grey goo” could be the world’s undoing. This is indeed a live theory amongst some nano-technologists, who hypothesise that self-replicating robots might consume all of the world’s biomass and reduce the world to dust within days. The term ‘grey goo’ was used by Eric Drexler to convey the idea that whilst robots might be more evolutionarily superior, they are not necessarily (or in fact are decidedly not) valuable or inspiring contributors to the world. It is a relief at least that the grey goo involved in our eclipse is metaphorical rather than physical.