Wicked London Casting News
Wicked, the award-winning musical that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, is proud to welcome back the original British Elphaba, Kerry Ellis, who will recreate her celebrated performance from 4 August until 25 October 2014*. Willemijn Verkaik will play her final performance as Elphaba on 19 July**. She departs the production in order to have surgery to address an ongoing back condition.
Michael McCabe, Executive Producer of Wicked said, “We are all so sorry that Willemijn’s truly remarkable international journey with Wicked that began in Germany in 2007, should end prematurely. It is only her extraordinary determination and professionalism that has enabled her to continue performing to date despite enduring extreme pain and discomfort. We are very grateful to her and pleased that many thousands of West End theatregoers did get the opportunity of seeing her wonderful performance as Elphaba since she joined the cast in November 2013. On behalf of the entire company, we wish Willemijn a full and speedy recovery. In the meantime, we are absolutely thrilled to welcome back the incredible Kerry Ellis to the role that won her awards both in the West End and on Broadway for a very special limited season.”
Willemijn Verkaik said, “To be given the chance to play Elphaba in four different countries is something I am incredibly grateful for. Now I have to cut my West End run short and it’s absolutely devastating to me. I’ve been fighting this injury for a few months but was determined not to let anything get in the way of my West End debut and certainly not wanting to disappoint the audiences. But I have to face the facts. I thank producers David Stone and Michael McCabe and our General Managers, Playful Productions, the cast and crew and all of you so much for all your support in this difficult time. I promise I’ll be back on stage soon, in better shape than ever!”
Kerry Ellis said, “It is an absolute thrill for me to be returning to this amazing show and the incredible role of Elphaba that is so very special to me. I can’t wait to be green again and join this fantastic cast”.
*Kerry Ellis will not be appearing in Wicked on 19 August, 27 September, 2 October to 10 October, 14 to 16 October and 18 October due to her concert appearances.
**Willemijn Verkaik will play her final performance as Elphaba on 19 July. She is currently scheduled to play all evening performances w/c 14 July. At all other performances the role will be played by Emma Hatton.