Willjemijn Verkaik to Take Over as Elphaba in London's Wicked | Playbill

News Willjemijn Verkaik to Take Over as Elphaba in London's Wicked
Willemijn Verkaik, the Dutch actress who has played the role of Elphaba in more than 1,000 perfromances in Holland, Germany and most recently Broadway, will take over in the West End, beginning performances Nov. 18.

Willemijn Verkaik
Willemijn Verkaik

She will replace Louise Dearman, who is currently playing the role through Nov. 16.

Verkaik made her debut as Elphaba in the German language production of Wicked in Nov. 2007 in Stuttgart and subsequently in Oberhausen. She reprised the role in the Dutch language premiere production, opening at the AFAS Circustheater in Nov. 2011 and made her Broadway debut at the Gershwin Theatre Feb 12, 2013.

Read Playbill.com's Diva Talk with Verkaik here.

She studied at the Rotterdam Conservatory and originally pursued a career in the music industry before making the transition to musical theatre. Other credits include playing Scaramouche and Killer Queen in We Will Rock You, Amneris in Aida (Da Capo Award for Best Musical Performer); and the title role in Elisabeth, based on the story of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. She has made numerous concert and television appearances across Europe and can be heard on two Scott Alan albums, "Live" and "What I Wanna Be When I Grow Up." She can also be heard on the Original German Cast Recording of Wicked and performs "Solang ich dich hab" ("As Long As You’re Mine") and "Gutes tun" ("No Good Deed") on the special 5th Anniversary edition of the Original Broadway Cast Recording.

In a press statement, she has commented, "It has been my great honor to have played Elphaba in Wicked in Germany, Holland and on Broadway, and to have been part of this musical's incredible international success. I am overjoyed, and sincerely grateful, that the producers have now invited me to make my West End debut playing this extraordinary role in the musical that has literally changed my life." Michael McCabe, UK Executive Producer adds, "Since its Broadway debut 10 years ago, Wicked has become a truly global phenomenon and nobody personifies the show’s international appeal more than Willemijn, who has performed the role of Elphaba in three languages in three different countries. We are thrilled that London audiences will now get the opportunity to experience Willemijn’s incredible performance, for which she has been so justly acclaimed."

To book tickets, which are on sale through April 26, 2014, contact the box office on 0844 826 8000, or visit WickedTheMusical.co.uk.

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