New witch flies into West End Wicked

  • Category: Music & Theatre
  • Dates: Monday, 18 November 2013 to Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The smash-hit musical Wicked, currently playing at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, will undergo a major cast change next month as current leading lady Louise Dearman hangs up her broomstick after being the first person to play both Glinda and Elphaba in the same production.

But long-term fans of Wicked have nothing to fear, as award-winning Dutch actress Willemijn Verkaik will be taking over the reins and defying gravity every night.

Verkaik already has more than enough experience in this particular musical, having first played Elphaba in the German-language production in 2007. She then opened its Dutch incarnation in her native country, and recently became the first person to sing it in three languages when she transferred to Broadway.

"Wicked has become a truly global phenomenon and nobody personifies the show's international appeal more than Willemijn," commented UK executive producer Michael McCabe, who added that he is thrilled London will get to experience her award-winning portrayal of everyone's favourite green girl.

Verkaik told the media: "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."

She will play her first London performance on November 18th, but she will not be the only Wicked alumnus taking to the stage.

Sam Kelly will be reprising his much-loved incarnation of the Wizard, a role he previously played between 2009 and 2010 to much acclaim. Kelly has become a well-known face in British television, with roles in sitcoms such as 'Allo 'Allo, Black Books and We'll Think of Something.

Witness the story of what happens in Oz before Dorothy dropped in by booking into the 41 Hotel under the special Wicked the Musical offer. The spine-tingling magic and catchy songs including Popular and Defying Gravity will have you standing by the end of the second act, cheering and applauding with the rest of the audience.