Desmond Barrit to star as The Wizard in Wicked, at Apollo Victoria Theatre from 9 June 2008

Desmond Barrit to star as ‘The Wizard’ in Wicked, at Apollo Victoria Theatre from 9 June 2008

Desmond Barrit is to star as ‘The Wizard’ in WICKED at the Apollo Victoria Theatre from Monday 9 June 2008.

Desmond Barrit is currently starring as ‘Hector’ in Alan Bennett’s The History Boys at Wyndham’s Theatre. His other London credits include "HMS Pinafore" & "Twelfth Night" at the Open Air Theatre in 2005; "Stuff Happens" & "A Funny Thing Happended on the Way To the Forum" both at the Olivier, NT in 2004;"Accidental Death of An Anarchist" at the Donmar Warehouse in 2003; "Henry IV : Part 1 & 2" for the RSC at Barbican in 2001; "Eurydice" at the Whitehall in 1999; "Real Inspector Hound / Black" at the Comedy in 1998.

The cast currently includes: Kerry Ellis (Elphaba, until 7 June), Dianne Pilkington (Glinda), Oliver Tompsett (Fiyero), Susie Blake (Madame Morrible, until 12 April, then Harriet Thorpe takes over the role from 14 April), Nigel Planer (The Wizard, until 7 June, then Desmond Barrit takes over the role from 9 June)

WICKED opened at the Apollo Victoria Theatre 27 Sep 2006, following previews from 7 Sep - to reasonable notices from the popular press: THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Remarkable kaleidoscope of magical shocks, surprises and sensations. Wicked works like a dream."THE INDEPENDENT says, "I enjoyed very little. " THE GUARDIAN says, "Efficient, knowing and highly professional but more like a piece of industrial product than something that genuinely touches the heart or mind." THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "Witty, enjoyable" THE TIMES says, "Songs bang out, along with iffy lyrics and not-so-witty dialogue."

The show has also recently celebrated its 600th performance and has now been seen by over 1.2 million theatregoers since its London premiere in September 2006.

Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, WICKED has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, book by Winnie Holzman.

It is directed by Joe Mantello, scenic design by Eugene Lee, costumes by Susan Hilferty, lighting by Kenneth Posner, sound by Tony Meola, orchestrations by William David Brohn, musical staging by Wayne Cilento and is directed by Joe Mantello.

Two girls meet in the land of Oz. One, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, feisty and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very, very popular. WICKED is the story of these two unlikely friends and how they end up as the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch.

WICKED is currently taking bookings to 4 April 2009.

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