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Blonde Natalie Casey, Seymour-Marsh Joins MDQ

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As previously tipped, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps star Natalie Casey will join the cast of Olivier and Whatsonstage.com Award-winning musical Legally Blonde replacing Denise Van Outen as ditzy beautician Paulette from 26 April 2011.

Casey’s musical credits include Oklahoma!, The Wedding Singer and, in the West End, Fame. She was most recently seen on stage in music hall comedy The Invisible Man at the Menier Chocolate Factory earlier this year. Best known for her long-running role in the BBC sit-com Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Casey appeared alongside Legally Blonde’s original Elle Woods Sheridan Smith in the show's early seasons.

Van Outen will leave the show on 23 April 2011, two months before her husband Lee Mead joins the show as Emmett Forrest in mid-June. Mead replaces Alex Gaumond who has been with the musical since its West End debut.

Casey joins the West End cast of Susan McFadden as Elle Woods, Carley Stenson as Margot, Nicola Brazil as Serena, Siobhan Dillon as Vivienne and Peter Davison as Professor Callahan.

Legally Blonde The Musical picked up four gongs at the 2011 Whatsonstage.com Awards, including Best New Musical. Nominated for five Olivier Awards it went on to win Best New Musical, the Best Actress in a Musical prize for Sheridan Smith and Best Supporting Role in a Musical for co-star Jill Halfpenny.

Based on the 2001 Hollywood film in which Reese Witherspoon played California sorority girl Elle Woods, the show is directed by Tony Award-winning and Olivier Award-nominated choreographer Jerry Mitchell. Having opened on Broadway in 2007 the musical comedy opened at the Savoy Theatre on 13 January 2010 (previews from 5 December 2009) and has recently extended its booking period until 31 March 2012.

It was announced last week that Legally Blonde will embark on a national tour, launching at the Liverpool Empire from 8 to 16 July. Tickets for Legally Blonde on tour are now available for the Bristol Hippodrome (19 July to 6 August), the Grand Opera House, York (9 to 20 August), Edinburgh Playhouse (6 to 17 September) the New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham (4 to 15 October) and the Opera House, Manchester (18 to 29 October).

Legally Blonde 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.

In other musical casting news, it has been announced that Oliver Seymour-Marsh will take over the role of legendary music producer Carl Perkins in West End musical Million Dollar Quartet from 28 March 2011. Seymour-Marsh replaces Robert Britton Lyons who returns to the show's Broadway production.

Million Dollar Quartet, which opened at the West End's Noel Coward Theatre on 28 February 2011 (previews from 8 February) is inspired by the actual event that took place on 4 December 1956 at Sun Records in Memphis where Sam Phillips brought Elvis Presley back to the recording studio that launched him to stardom, and had him play with the other musicians he had discovered.

Seymour-Marsh joins the West End cast of Bill Ward (Sam Phillips), Ben Goddard (Jerry Lee Lewis), Derek Hagen (Johnny Cash), Francesca Jackson (Dyanne)and Michael Malarkey (Elvis Presley).

Million Dollar Quartet features 20 rock ’n’ roll, gospel, R&B and country hits all taken from the back catelogues of the quartet members including: "Blue Suede Shoes", "I Walk The Line", "Fever", "Great Balls of Fire", "Hound Dog", "Folsom Prison Blues" and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On".

It has a book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux and was originally directed and conceived by Floyd Mutrux. The has scenic design by Derek McLane, costumes by Jane Greenwood, lighting design by Howell Binkley, sound by Kai Harada and musical arrangement and supervision by Chuck Mead.

Million Dollar Quartet is produced in the West End by Relevant Theatricals, John Cossette Productions, American Pop Anthology, John Gore, Thomas B McGrath, Joseph Smith and Michael McCabe.


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