Kerry Ellis returns to Wicked from 4 Aug 2014

Kerry Ellis, is returning to the role of 'Elphaba' in the West End production of Wicked from Monday 4 August until Saturday 25 October 2014. Willemijn Verkaik will play her final performance as Elphaba on 19 July 2014, in order to have surgery with an ongoing back condition.

Michael McCabe, Executive Producer of Wicked said: “We are all so sorry that Willemijn’s truly remarkable international journey with Wicked, that began in Germany in 2007, should end prematurely. It is only her extraordinary determination and professionalism that has enabled her to continue performing to date despite enduring extreme pain and discomfort...In the meantime, we are absolutely thrilled to welcome back the incredible Kerry Ellis to the role that won her awards both in the West End and on Broadway for a very special limited season.”

Kerry Ellis was a member of the original London cast of Wicked and became the first British actress to play the role when she replaced Idina Menzel in January 2007. She subsequently played the role on Broadway. She created the role of ‘Meat’ in the Queen and Ben Elton musical We Will Rock You and her many other theatre roles include: ‘Nancy’ in Oliver! at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane; ‘Fantine’ in Les Misérables (Queens Theatre); and ‘Eliza Doolittle’ in Trevor Nunn’s production of My Fair Lady at the National Theatre and the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Emma Hatton is expected to play the role of Elphaba from 21 July to 2 Aug, Kerry Ellis from 4 Aug to 25 Oct (Except on 19 Aug, 27 Sep, 2 to 10 October, 14 to 16 October and 18 October), and then Nikki Davis-Jones from 27 Oct 2014.

The current cast of Wicked includes Savannah Stevenson (Glinda), Jeremy Taylor (Fiyero); Martyn Ellis (The Wizard), Katie Rowley Jones (Nessarose), Paul Clarkson (Doctor Dillamond - Philip Childs takes over from 27 Oct 2014), Sam Lupton (Boq), Sue Kelvin (Madame Morrible - Liza Sadovy takes over from 27 Oct 2014).

The show opened at the Apollo Victoria Theatre 27 Sep 2006, following previews from 07 Sep, and has since been seen by almost 6 million people. Wicked is now the 10th longest-running show in the West End.

Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, Wicked has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and a 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.

Synopsis: '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 produced by Marc Platt, Universal Stage Productions, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt, David Stone, and Michael McCabe.

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