Theatre News

Susan McFadden Is Legally Blonde Elle from Jan

Susan McFadden, the Irish actress who won ITV1’s reality casting show Grease is the Word and has been appearing as Legally Blonde‘s alternate Elle Woods since October, will take over from Sheridan Smith in the musical’s leading role from 10 January 2011, producers announced today (17 December 2010).

McFadden won the role of Sandy in Grease at the Piccadilly Theatre, performing alongside fellow Grease is the Word winner Danny Bayne from August 2007. Her other theatre credits include the role of Milly in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers on tour and the title role in Cinderella at the Theatre Royal, Wakefield. Born in Dublin, her Irish theatre credits include Singin’ in the Rain, Dance of Desire and Annie. She has also appeared on Relative Strangers and Bachelors Walk for Irish broadcaster RTE.

She joins the principal cast of Denise Van Outen as beautician Paulette (who joined the show in November 2010), Simon Thomas as Warner, Alex Gaumond as her new love interest Emmett, Siobhan Dillon who plays Vivienne, Carley Stenson as Margot, Aoife Mulholland who plays Brooke and Peter Davison as Callahan.

The musical comedy, which premiered on Broadway in April 2007, is based on the 2001 Hollywood film in which Reese Witherspoon played California sorority girl Elle Woods who follows her ex-boyfriend to Harvard Law School in an attempt to win him back. The show opened at the West End’s Savoy Theatre in December 2009.

Other cast members from 10 January 2011 include: Stephane Anelli (Padamadan, Nikos), Emma Bateman (Stenographer), Nicola Brazil (Serena), Thomas Camilleri (Carlos), Chris Ellis-Stanton (Grandmaster Chad, Dewey, Kyle), Kimmy Edwards (Judge, Saleswoman), Ibinabo Jack (Pilar), Suzie McAdam (Enid), Sorelle Marsh (Courtney, Mom, Whitney), Sean Mulligan (Pforzheimer), Dawn Sievewright (Kate, Chutney), Lincoln Stone (Dad, Winthrop, Reporter), Robbie Towns (Aaron), Dominic Tribuzio (Kiki), Tamara Wall (District Attorney) and Stephen Webb (Lowell), as well as Jonathan Mawson, Jane McMurtrie, Lucy Miller, Ruthie Stephenson and Gregor Stewart as swings.

Legally Blonde is directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell. The musical has music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, book by Heather Hach, set design by David Rockwell, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Kenneth Posner and Paul Miller, sound design by ACME Sound Partners and orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke.

It’s produced in the West End by Sonia Friedman Productions, Robert G Bartner, Ambassador Theatre Group, Bud Martin, Adam Zotovich, Jamie Hendry Productions, Matthew Byam Shaw and Act Productions.

Legally Blonde is nominated in a number of categories for the 2011 Awards. Sheridan Smith and Alex Gaumond are nominated as Best Actress and Actor in a Musical respectively, Chris Ellis-Stanton and Jill Halfpenny are nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Actress in a Musical, Denise Van Outen is nominated for Best Takeover in a Role and Jerry Mitchell is nominated for Best Choreographer. The show itself is also nominated for Best New Musical. You can cast your votes for them by following the link below.

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