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Holden & Blackwood Confirmed for London Shrek

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Producers have confirmed that, as previously tipped, Amanda Holden will play Princess Fiona in next year's West End transfer of Shrek the Musical.

The production, which opens at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 7 June 2011 following previews from May, will also star comic actor Richard Blackwood as Donkey.

The show premiered in December 2008 on Broadway, where it ran for just over a year. The West End offering will be based on the revamped US touring production, which launched from Chicago this month and features new songs, additional scenes, “improved illusions” and “a newly styled dragon”, as previously reported.

Amanda Holden is no stranger to the musical stage, having been nominated for an Olivier Award in the title role in the West End production of Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2003 (as Princess Fiona she will be reunited with director Rob Ashford and composer Jeanine Tesori). Among her varied television roles are Mel in the BBC’s Kiss Me Kate, Mia Bevan in the BBC’s Cutting It and Sarah Trevanion in ITV1’s Wild at Heart. Currently, she is a judge on ITV1’s Britain's Got Talent.

Richard Blackwood was recently seen in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Novello Theatre alongside James Earl Jones and Phylicia Rashad. After rising to fame as a presenter, he has notched up a range of TV credits including Anton in ITV’s Britannia High, BBC1’s Dani’s House and his own show on Channel 4. Stage credits include national tours of Roy Williams’ Angel House and The Unexpected Guest, and The Brothers at the Hackney Empire.

According to today's Daily Mail, other principal cast members may include Nigel Harman as Lord Farquaad and Nigel Lindsay in the title role.

The Anglo-American creative team is led by directors Jason Moore and Rob Ashford and includes David Lindsay-Abaire (book and lyrics), Jeanine Tesori (music), Tim Hatley (scenic, costume and puppet design), Hugh Vanstone (lighting design), Peter Hylenski (sound design), and Josh Prince (choreography).

Tickets for Shrek the Musical go on sale to the general public on 1 October 2010, initially booking until 19 February 2012.


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