It’s here guys, the most controversial day in twitter-musical-theatre-fan history.
Taking over as the iconic duo from Monday 24 July 2017 will be Alice Fearn as Elphaba and Sophie Evans as Glinda.
Got it? Predictable but brilliant, surely?
I reckon Alice Fearn is one of the most understated west end performers. When you actually look at her credits, she should be on like Rachel Tucker and Louise Dearman fan-level by now. Is fan level even a thing? I feel like it’s not. Anyway, I first really loved her in this, and she’s just gone from strength to strength.
If you think you recognise Sophie Evans and you don’t know why – she was in The Wizard Of Oz at the London Palladium after coming third in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s TV audition series Over The Rainbow.
Fearn joined the production as standby Elphaba last year and now takes on the role full time. Her other credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Shrek and Les Miserables. I was getting slightly bored of bringing people back over and over again to play Elphaba but given that there’s a new standby, I’m actually more than OK with someone who had previously been an off stage standby, as they are in Wicked, being given a lead role. Obviously I am the theatrical moral compass so my opinion is important here.
Also joining the cast are Bradley Jaden (Les Miserables, Wicked UK tour) as Fiyero, Melanie La Barrie (Matilda, Les Miserables) as Madame Morrible, Andy Hockley (The Phantom of the Opera) as The Wizard, Jack Lansbury (West End debut) as Boq and Laura Pick (The Sound of Music) as standby Elphaba. The cast is completed by Jennie Abbotts, Ashley Birchall, Nicole Carlisle, Nicholas Corre, Conor Crown, Kerry Enright, Aimée 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, Paulo Teixeira, Samantha Thomas, Hannah Toy, Russell Walker, Sasha Wareham and Libby Watts. They join current cast members Martin Ball (Doctor Dillamond), Sarah McNicholas (Nessarose) and Carina Gillespie (standby Glinda).
As well as entering it’s 11th hugely successful year in London, the show will also embark on a new UK and Ireland tour from 31 January 2018, visiting Bristol, Liverpool, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Dublin, Sunderland, Southampton, Cardiff and Manchester. Casting and more information in due course.
Based on the best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire which re-imagines the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Wicked tells the untold story of an unlikely friendship between Glinda The Good and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. It has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman, and features well known songs “Defying Gravity”, “Popular” and “The Wizard and I”.
Wicked is currently booking at the Apollo Theatre until 26 May 2018.