|Gina Beck. Photo credit: Joseph Shaffery|
Gina Beck & Matt Willis Join West End Wicked, 12 Dec
Date: 14 September 2011
The new cast of Whatsonstage.com Award-winning musical Wicked has been announced with Gina Beck and Matt Willis taking over the roles of Glinda and Fiyero from 12 December 2011.
The pair are joined in the cast by Lillie Flynn as Nessarose, Christopher Howell as Doctor Dillamond and Adam Pettigrew as Boq. Desmond Barrit, who first starred in Wicked in 2008, returns to the role of The Wizard.
Rachel Tucker, who won this year's Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Take Over in a Role will, as previously reported, remain in the role of Elphaba. Julie Legrand also stays on as Madame Morrible.
Beck's West End credits include a two-year stint playing Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera. She made her debut in 2006 as Cosette in Les Miserables and performed in the show's 25th anniversary celebrations at The O2 last year. She can currently be seen in The Belle’s Stratagem at Southwark Playhouse which runs until 1 October 2011.
Matt Willis came to prominence as a member of the BRIT Award-winning band Busted and has subsequently appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!. Trained at the Sylvia Young Theatre School, he made his West End debut in Flashdance and has recently appeared in the UK tour of Footloose.
Olivier Award-winning RSC and National Theatre actor Desmond Barrit returns to Wicked having recently played Falstaff in Peter Hall's Henry IV at the Theatre Royal Bath.
Wicked has now played over 2000 performances and celebrates five years in the West End on 27 September 2011. After winning five Whatsonstage.com Awards in its opening year, the show has scooped our prize for long-runners, Best West End Show, for two years running.
The Broadway musical, which opened in London on 27 September 2006 (previews from 6 September), tells the “untold story” of the Witches of Oz - popular blonde Glinda, aka the Good Witch of the North, and her spin-victim friend Elphaba – who were both immortalised in the 1939 film classic The Wizard of Oz.
The musical has a book by Winnie Holtzman, based on Gregory Maguire’s novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. It’s directed by Joe Mantello.
- by Andrew Girvan
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