Willemijn Verkaik 'Elphaba' in Wicked from 18 Nov 2013
From 18 November 2013, Dutch star Willemijn Verkaik takes over the role of ‘Elphaba’ in Wicked, at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre, having played the role in more than 1000 perfs in Holland, Germany, Broadway.
Willemijn Verkaik said: “It has been my great honour to have played ‘Elphaba’ in Wicked in Germany, Holland and on Broadway, and to have been part of this musical's incredible international success. I am overjoyed, and sincerely grateful, that the producers have now invited me to make my West End debut playing this extraordinary role in the musical that has literally changed my life.”
Willemijn Verkaik made her debut as ‘Elphaba’ in the German language production of Wicked on November 15, 2007 at the Palladium Theater in Stuttgart and subsequently at the Metronom Theater in Oberhausen. She reprised the role in the Dutch language premiere production, opening at the AFAS Circustheater on November 6, 2011 and made her Broadway debut at the Gershwin Theatre on 12 February 2013. Willemijn studied at the Rotterdam Conservatory and originally pursued a career in the music industry before making the transition to musical theatre. She has made numerous concert and television appearances across Europe and can be heard on two Scott Alan albums, Live and What I Wanna Be When I Grow Up.
Wicked, opened at the Apollo Victoria Theatre 27 Sep 2006, following previews from 7 Sep, and has since been seen by over 5 million people.
Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, Wicked has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, book by Winnie Holzman.
The current cast includes Louise Dearman (Elphaba), Gina Beck (Glinda), Ben Freeman (Fiyero), Keith Bartlett (The Wizard ), Katie Rowley Jones ( Nessarose), Christopher Howell (Doctor Dillamond) , Sam Lupton (Boq), Harriet Thorpe (Madame Morrible).
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.
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.