Get tickets to see new casts in popular West End shows

Discover different takes on iconic musical theatre characters. See new casts in popular West End shows like Wicked, Les Misérables, and The Lion King.

Marianka Swain
Marianka Swain

It’s always exciting to find out the cast announced for new London productions, especially if it’s due to open with big star names. But don’t sleep on the newest casts.

Hit productions and long-running shows will bring in fantastic talent for their first (or second, or third) cast change — like rising stars, theatrical stalwarts who have earned their leading role, film and television stars, or perhaps someone you’ve never come across before, but who is about to become your new favourite performer.

We have rightly celebrated celebrating understudies and covers.. This incredible group keeps shows going, but let’s take time to celebrate replacement casts too. They make sure that audiences have just as brilliant an experience at our leading West End shows, while managing that tricky balancing act of slotting into an established cast while also bringing their own flair to the role.

We’ve seen lots of eye-catching performers coming into shows recently, from Cheryl making her West End debut in 2:22 – A Ghost Story to multiple exciting cast takeovers in Cabaret. So, here are some of the talented replacement cast members in London musicals that you can see now.

Wicked - 750 - LT

Alexia Khadime in Wicked

The green-skinned Elphaba is a dream role for all aspiring musical theatre leading ladies. Originated by the one and only Idina Menzel, we’ve since seen plenty of incredible names donning that witch’s hat – from Eden Espinosa and Louise Dearman to Kerry Ellis and Rachel Tucker. Now it’s Alexia Khadime's turn to defy gravity in London. Find out more about West End actresses to play Elphaba.

Khadime made her Elphaba debut back in 2008: this is her first time playing her in 13 years. She’s since starred in shows like Les Misérables, The Book of Mormon and The Prince of Egypt – and her return will be incredibly popular with Wicked superfans!

She stars alongside Lucy St. Louis (The Phantom of the Opera) as Glinda – meaning we have two incredible Black actresses making history in these lead roles – plus cast members Caitlin Anderson as Nessarose and Joe Thompson-Oubari as Boq, while Sophie-Louise Dann continues as Madame Morrible and Ryan Reid as Fiyero. It’s good to see them, isn’t it?

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Cabaret - 750 - LT

Aimee Lou Wood, John McCrea, and more in Cabaret

It’s not easy following the likes of Hollywood stars Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley, who opened as the Emcee and Sally Bowles respectively in Rebecca Frecknall’s incredible revival of Cabaret. In fact, Redmayne and Buckley both picked up Olivier Awards for their performances — as did supporting cast members Elliot Levey as Herr Schultz and Liza Sadovy as Fraulein Schneider, as part of the show’s seven-award sweep.

Yet Cabaret proves just as electrifying with new leads. We've previously had Fra Fee and Amy Lennox in the lead roles, and Callum Scott Howells and Madeline Brewer. Now, John McCrea (original star of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie) plays the Emcee, Aimee Lou Wood (TV series Sex Education) is Sally Bowles, and Nathan Ives-Moiba is Cliff. Wilkommen to them all.

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Mamma Mia - 750 - LT

Mazz Murray in Mamma Mia!

Whether it’s your first or your 100th trip to the ABBA-tastic musical, you know you’re in for a treat. Unleash your inner dancing queen and join mum Donna and daughter Sophie as the latter tries to figure out who her father is before her wedding day – and the former confronts her complicated past. Set on a sunny Greek island, Mamma Mia! is escapism at its best, while also offering some touching moments of family bonding and female friendship.

The current West End Donna is Mazz Murray, who devoted Mamma Mia! fans will know has previously wowed as Donna’s glamorous pal Tanya. Although they’re very different roles, Murray is a revelation as Donna, and it looks like she’s having a ball with her Dynamos: Josie Benson (In the Heights) as Tanya, and Gemma Goggin (Son of Rambow – The Musical) as Rosie. So, gimme gimme gimme a trip to this ABBA fantasy land.

Book Mamma Mia! tickets on London Theatre.

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Les Mis - 750 - LT

Lucie Jones in Les Misérables

Do you hear the people sing? They’re singing all about the incredible new cast members joining the revolutionary musical. Australian star Josh Piterman (who made his West End debut as the Phantom) will tackle the demanding role of Jean Valjean, alongside Stewart Clarke (the original Ernst Ludwig in the hit Cabaret revival) as the dogged Valjean.

Joining them are Lucie Jones (who has just finished an acclaimed run as Elphaba in Wicked) as the unfortunate Fantine – reprising the role from the all-star staged concert – Nathania Ong as Eponine (which she previously played on tour), and Claire Machin (Mary Poppins, Memphis) as the scheming Madame Thénardier. If you’re looking for an excuse to revisit Les Mis, or you’ve dreamed a dream of going for the first time, this phenomenal new company is the perfect excuse.

Book Les Misérables tickets on London Theatre.

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The Lion King - 750 - LT

Owen Chaponda and Merryl Ansah in The Lion King

It’s the circle of life, and it always brings exciting fresh talent to this beloved Disney family musical. So, who just can’t wait to be king? That’ll be Owen Chaponda, the West End’s new Simba. He made his West End debut in The Lion King’s ensemble, performed in The Color Purple and Back to the Future: The Musical, and now returns to Pride Rock to lead the show.

Merryl Ansah, a former Heather Duke in Heathers, stars opposite him as Simba’s love interest Nala – a very different look and role. The talented pair join a company that features George Asprey as Scar, Shaun Escoffery as Mufasa, Gary Jordan as Zazu, Jamie McGregor as Timon, Thenjiwe Thendiva Nofemele as Rafiki, and Mark Roper as Pumbaa. Let’s hope they’re all feeling the love tonight.

Book The Lion King tickets on London Theatre.

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Back to the Future - 750 - LT

Cory English and more in Back to the Future: The Musical

Great Scott! Cory English, who previously had a limited run as Doc Brown, is now a permanent fixture as the eccentric scientist whose souped-up DeLorean sends Marty McFly hurtling into the past. Can he save his family and find his way back to the future? Taking that whacky journey is a new Marty, Ben Joyce, who was an incredible Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys.

They join Amber Davies (9 to 5) as Marty’s mother Lorraine Baines, and Oliver Nicholas as Marty’s geeky dad George McFly. Incredibly, this is Nicholas’s first job out of drama school – you can read all about that in our interview with him here. Then get booking to see how this exciting company bring us 1.21 gigawatts of sheer entertainment.

Book Back to the Future: The Musical tickets on London Theatre.

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The Phantom of the Opera - 750 - LT

Jon Robyns in The Phantom of the Opera

The music of the night will be sung by a new leading man from April, as Jon Robyns joins the London production of The Phantom of the Opera. The acclaimed musical theatre actor was in the original West End cast of Avenue Q, played both Marius and Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, and relished being the baddie as King George in Hamilton. Now, he takes on that sewer-dwelling musical genius.

Robyns will play opposite Holly-Anne Hull as Christine (plus Paige Blankson at certain performances), Matt Blaker as Raoul, and Kelly Glyptis as Carlotta in the iconic Andrew Lloyd Webber musical set in the Paris Opera House. Can you return to 19th-century Paris to see Robyns in action? That’s all he asks of you.

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Photo credit: Alexia Khadime and Lucy St. Louis (Photo courtesy of production)

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