Murray Head withdraws from Chess at London Coliseum

Murray Head

The producers of Chess have announced that Murray Head has been forced to withdraw from the production citing personal reasons.

The production is currently in rehearsals ahead of previews beginning at the London Coliseum on 26th April.

Cedric Neal
Cedric Neal

Head, who featured in the original cast of Chess in 1986 as Frederick Trumper, was set to play the Arbiter. The role will now be played by Cedric Neal, who played Berry Gordy in Motown the Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre.

Michael Ball, Alexandra Burke, Cassidy Janson and Tim Howar also star in Chess, which will officially open at the Coliseum on 1st May.

Producers released the following statement:

"The producers of Chess announce with great regret that Murray Head is to leave the cast due to personal reasons. Cedric Neal will replace Murray in the production. Cedric was most recently in the West End when he starred as Berry Gordy in Motown the Musical and will now return to the UK to play The Arbiter in the forthcoming production at the London Coliseum.”

Chess is about American grandmaster chess player Freddie Trumper who travels to Italy for the World Chess Championships, and features music by ABBA songwriters Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and lyrics from Sir Tim Rice.

The full cast of the musical includes Sabrina Aloueche, Robin Bailey, Sarah Bakker, Jeremy Batt, Kimberley Blake, Sophie Camble, Cellen Chugg Jones, Jordan Lee Davies, Jonathan David Dudley, Richard Emerson, Callum Evans, Chris Gage, Matt Harrop, Jack Horner, Stevie Hutchinson, Nicholas Lee, Sinead Long, Robbie McMillan, Jo Morris, Jennifer Robinson, Jo Servi, Alexandra Waite-Roberts, Carrie Willis,  Stuart Winter, Chris Gardner, Matthew Walker and Joe Watkins.

               Click here to read our list of five classic songs from Chess. 

Chess is at the London Coliseum from 26th April to 2nd June, with an official opening on 1st May. 

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