Monday, 14 July 2014

Willemijn Verkaik to leave WICKED on the 19th July 2014, Kerry Ellis to return


Willemijn Verkaik will play her final performance as Elphaba this Saturday 19 July 2014 at 7.30pm, as she departs the production in order to have surgery to address an ongoing back condition. Kerry Ellis, who will recreate her celebrated performance from Monday 4 August until Saturday 25 October 2014*. 

Willemijn 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!”



Willemijn has been playing 'Elphaba' since 18 November 2013. The award-winning Dutch star has previously played the role in more than 1000 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. 

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."


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 Tuesday 19 August, Saturday 27 September, Thursday 2 October - Friday 10 October, Tuesday 14 - Thursday 16 October and Saturday 18 October due to her concert appearances.
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