London Wicked Welcomes Its New Star Jan. 1

News   London Wicked Welcomes Its New Star Jan. 1 The first day of the New Year sees singing actress Kerry Ellis assume the role of Elphaba, the misunderstood, green-faced witch, in the London production of Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman's Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre.
Kerry Ellis begins her run as Elphaba in the West End production of Wicked.
Kerry Ellis begins her run as Elphaba in the West End production of Wicked. Photo by Tristram Kenton

Ellis succeeds American actress Idina Menzel, who opened the London company of the hit musical Sept. 7. Menzel had created the role of Elphaba on Broadway, earning a Tony Award for her performance. Ellis had been Menzel's London standby.

Ellis, who is the first British actress to play Elphaba, portrayed Fantine in Les Misérables at the Queen's Theatre and Ellen in the national tour of Miss Saigon. She created the role of Meat in the London cast of We Will Rock You and has also been seen in productions of My Fair Lady and Merrily We Roll Along.

The London company of Wicked also features Helen Dallimore as Glinda, Adam Garcia as Fiyero, Miriam Margolyes as Madame Morrible, Nigel Planer as The Wizard, Martin Ball as Doctor Dillamond, James Gillan as Boq and Katie Rowley Jones as Nessarose.

Wicked features a score by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. The creative team also includes scenic design by Eugene Lee, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, sound design by Tony Meola, projections by Elaine J. McCarthy, wig and hair design by Tom Watson, music supervision and arrangements by Stephen Oremus, orchestrations by William David Brohn, dance arrangements by James Lynn Abbott, musical staging by Wayne Cilento and musical supervision-direction by Gareth Valentine.

Based on Gregory Maguire's novel, which turned every Oz myth inside out, Wicked explores the early life of the witches of Oz: Glinda and Elphaba. The two main characters meet at Shiz, a school where both hope to take up sorcery. Glinda is madly popular and Elphaba is, well, green. By a misunderstanding, they wind up roommates and, after an initial period of mutual loathing, begin to learn something about each other. Their life paths continue to intersect through a shared love, entry into the Emerald City and interaction with the Wizard himself. Eventually, their choices and convictions take them on widely different paths. For more on Wicked call (0)870 594 9494.

Kerry Ellis and Helen Dallimore in the London production of <i>Wicked</i>.
Kerry Ellis and Helen Dallimore in the London production of Wicked. Photo by Tristram Kenton