From Fun Home to Waitress, from Next to Normal to Finding Neverland - it's always fun collating the various rumours flying around theatreland. After a very busy...
Lead cast announced for Elf the Musical at the Dominion
Lead casting has been announced for the upcoming production of Elf the Musical which will open at London's Dominion Theatre on 5 November 2015, following previews from 24 October, running for a limited 10-week period to 2 January 2016.
Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh will star in the production as 'Jovie', alongside Ben Forster as 'Buddy', Joe McGann as 'Walter' and Jessica Martin as 'Emily Hobbs', who all reprise their roles from the 2014 production.
They will be joined by Mark McKerracher who will play 'Santa' and Graham Lappin as 'Store Manager' with further casting to be announced.
Walsh made her West End debut in 2013 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in the role of 'Princess Fiona' in Shrek the Musical. She also starred in the BBC show 'Strictly Come Dancing', where she finished as a joint runner up.
Ben Forster previously played the lead role of 'Buddy the Elf' in Plymouth and Dublin. He was last seen in the West End in 2014 at the Dominion Theatre in the revival of 'Evita' which he starred as 'Magaldi'. He won the Andrew Lloyd Webber helmed talent search 'Superstar' in which he won the role of Jesus in 'Jesus Christ Superstar' arena tour - a role which he played throughout 2012/13.
Elf the Musical transfers to London following performances in Plymouth and Dublin in 2014, produced by Michael Rose, U-Live and the Bord Gais Energy Theatre Dublin in a production directed and choreographed by Morgan Young.
Based on the 2003 New Line Cinema film starring Will Ferrell, Elf the Musical is the tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy's enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.
The musical features a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin, with songs by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin. It will feature set design and costumes by Olivier Award winner Tim Goodchild, lighting design by Olivier Award winner Tim Lutkin, vocal arrangements by Phil Reno, dance arrangements by David Chase, orchestrations by Doug Besterman, video design by Ian William Galloway and sound design by Clement Rawling. Musical direction and supervision will be by Stuart Morley.