New Elphaba in Wicked
Award-winning actress announced to play ‘Elphaba’ in the West End smash-hit musical Wicked!
As Wicked flies into its sixth spellbinding year at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, the producers have just announced that award-winning Dutch star Willemijn Verkaik will replace current ‘Elphaba’, Louise Dearman, from Monday 18 November 2013. Dearman, who famously played both the lead parts of ‘Glinda’ and ‘Elphaba’, will give her final performance on Saturday 16 November 2013.
Willemijn Verkaik has previously played the role of Elphaba in more than 1,000 performances in Holland, Germany and, most recently, on Broadway. In the hit musical’s decade-long history, she is the only actress to perform the role in more than one language. Ms Verkaik said: "It has been my great honour 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."
A statement then followed this from UK Executive Producer Michael McCabe, who said: "Since its Broadway debut ten 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.”
Willemijn Verkaik made her debut as 'Elphaba' in the German-language production of Wicked on 15 November 2007 at the Palladium Theater in Stuttgart and subsequently at the Metronom Theater in Oberhausen. She reprised the role in the Dutch-language premiere production, opening at the AFAS Circustheater in The Hague, Holland, on 6 November 2011 and made her Broadway debut at the Gershwin Theatre on 12 February 2013.
Based on the acclaimed novel by Gregory Maguire that re-imagined the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two girls who first meet as sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz sees them fulfill their respective destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.
Book now to see Verkaik take on the now iconic role of ‘Elphaba’ at the Apollo Victoria Theatre from 18 November 2013.