Idina Menzel (pictured) will reprise her Tony Award-winning performance as Elphaba, the green-skinned Wicked Witch of the West, leading a 40-strong cast in Wicked when the hit Broadway musical transfers to the West End’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, where it opens on 27 September 2006 (previews from 7 September).

Wicked tells the “untold story” of the Witches of Oz - popular blonde Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, and her spin-victim friend Elphaba, the green-skinned Wicked Witch of the West – who were both immortalised in the 1939 film classic The Wizard of Oz.

Menzel originated the role of Elphaba when Wicked opened in October 2003 at New York’s George Gershwin Theater, where it’s still running. She won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her performance, which she continued in New York until January 2005. In London, she will appear for a limited season before handing the role over to a British replacement.

The actress made her Broadway debut in Jonathan Larson’s Rent, in which she created the role of Maureen for which she was nominated for her first Tony. Her other New York stage credits include Aida, Hair, The Wild Party, See What I Wanna See and The Vagina Monologues.

Wicked has a book by Winnie Holtzman, based on Gregory Maguire’s novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Music and lyrics are by Stephen Schwartz (Pippin, Godspell). Songs include “Popular”, “No One Mourns the Wicked”, “The Wizard and I”, “I’m Not that Girl” and “The March of the Witch Hunters”.

The West End production reunites the original Broadway creative team. It’s directed by Joe Mantello and designed by Eugene Lee, with costumes by Susan Hilferty, lighting by Kenneth Postner, sound by Tony Meola, orchestrations by William David Brohn and musical staging by Wayne Cilento. In addition to Stone, Platt and McCabe, the show is produced in London by the Araca Group, Jon B Platt and Universal Pictures.

No further casting has yet been announced.

- by Terri Paddock