@beckymusicals takes a look at the new cast of wicked as the popular musical enters its 11th year in the west end.
Having celebrated its 10th anniversary with a star studded gala last year, Wicked has well and truly cemented itself as a firm favourite in the West End, continuing to pull in huge audiences night after night as the Victoria Apollo Theatre. As the year rolls round again, it comes to the time for a new cast to take to Oz and tell the story of the witches we all thought we knew from The Wizard of Oz, whisking us away to a mystical land full of magic and wonder.
The casting for the role of Elphaba, the wicked witch who may not be so wicked after all, is another example of seeing a standby or understudy step up to the leading role, a trend becoming more and more popular in the west end when it comes to the annual cast changes. Alice Fearn will take over from Willemijn Verkaik to go green every night to thrill and captivate the audience with her emotion filled performance and powerhouse vocals. Having been the standby to the role for the last year, I for one am thrilled to see Alice Fearn step up to the role full time, seeing it as a chance for people to appreciate the talent of those performers deemed understudies. Recently we have also seen another understudy Simon-Anthony Rhoden move up from understudy to take the role of Lola in Kinky Boots full time from Matt Henry as he leaves after playing the role from the beginning of the run two years ago. I feel as if the talent of understudies are under appreciated and that they are always seemingly looked down upon as not as good as those playing the leads. The promotion of these performers up to the lead roles only goes to show that they are just as good and just as talented.
The cast change also features some faces new to the London production. Sophie Evans will take to the bubble in the role of good witch Glinda (or Galinda if you prefer) taking the role over from Suzie Mathers. Recognisable as a finalist from the BBC show Over The Rainbow searching for a Dorothy, I am sure that She will take to this iconic role like a duck to water. Also joining the cast is Bradley Jayden playing the role of Fiyero, fresh from playing the role on the international tour. He will follow in the footsteps of Oliver Saville who has played the role of Fiyero for the last year. Having seen Bradley playing the famous role of Enjolras in Les Miserables, I just know that he is going to be incredible as Fiyero.
A few members of the current cast are staying on in their roles, including Martin Ball as Doctor Dillamond, Sarah McNicholas as Nessa and Carina Gillespie as standby Glinda. And,of course, not to forget the talented ensemble completing the cast. These performers are Jennie Abbitts, Ashley Birchall, Nicole Carlisle, Nicholas Corre, Conor Crown, Kerry Enright, Aimee Fisher, Joseph Fletcher, Alexandra Grierson, Katy Hanna, Tom Andrew Hargreaves, Olivia Kate Holding, Claudia Kariuki, Will Lucas, James McHugh, Danny Michaels, Ellie Mitchell, Rosa O’Reilly, Matt Parsons, Alex Pinder, Sam Robinson, Paolo Teixeria, Samantha Thomas, Hannah Toy, Russell Walker, Sasha Wareham and Libby Watts.
With the new cast taking to the stage from Monday 24th July, hitch a ride on a broomstick or float by bubble down to the Victoria Apollo Theatre to experience the magic of Wicked.