Last night was the final performance for a number of cast members of the London production of Wicked, in its annual cast change; principal cast members who departed were Lee Mead (Fiyero), Cassie Compton (Nessarose), and George Ure (Boq; former ensemble, u/s Boq). Replacing them are Mark Evans as Fiyero, who was previously a member of the ensemble and understudy to Fiyero in the 2007-2008 cast, Ben Stott as Boq, who was recently seen as ‘Jack’ in Into The Woods in Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre last summer, and Zoë Rainey as Nessarose, who has appeared as ‘Amber Von Tussle’ in the London production of Hairspray.
Also departing the cast are a number of ensemble; Lewis Bradley (1st u/s Fiyero; former Fiyero), Lauren James-Ray (2nd u/s Nessarose), Matt Krzan, Danny Mac (1st u/s Boq), Lucy Newton (swing, u/s Glinda), Stevie Tate-Bauer (1st u/s Nessarose, u/s Elphaba), Jack Wilcox, and Sam Wilmott (Chistery). Replacing them are Gemma Atkins (u/s Nessarose, u/s Elphaba), Andrew Bryant (u/s Boq), Nicholas Collier, Antony Hansen (u/s Fiyero), Jacqueline Hughes, Charlotte Scott (u/s Nessarose), Sam Taylor, and Matt Turner.
The cast change also brings about some changes within the remaining cast members; current cast member Jennifer Tierney (2nd u/s Madame Morrible) will be assuming the role of an additional Elphaba understudy, and cast member Thomas Sutcliffe will be promoted to first understudy for the role of Boq, after serving as second understudy for the past year; Daniel Jones will also be assuming the role of Chistery.
Chloe Taylor (former swing, u/s Glinda) also returns to the cast as the standby for Glinda, after the departure of Sarah Earnshaw (standby Glinda; former ensemble, u/s Glinda) in early January to join the cast of the Jekyll and Hyde UK tour; she was the last remaining member of the Original London Cast of Wicked, spending four and a half years with the show.
The new cast have their first performance tomorrow evening, Monday 7th February 2011, and are contracted until December 2011; all of us at the blog give them our best wishes!