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Willemijn Verkaik to reprise Wicked role in W/E

Willemijn Verkaik

Theatre news

FROM Monday, November 18, 2013, international Wicked star Willemijn Verkaik will play Elphaba in the London production of Wicked.

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.

Speaking about her role in Wicked, Willemijn 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.”

And Michael McCabe, UK Executive Producer said:

“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.”

Willemijn Verkaik made her debut as Elphaba in the German language production of Wicked on November 15, 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 on November 6, 2011 and made her Broadway debut at the Gershwin Theatre on February 12, 2013. She has won multiple awards in Europe for her performance and received a Audience Choice Award nomination for ‘Best Takeover’.

Her other theatre roles include Scaramouche and Killer Queen in the Queen/Ben Elton musical We Will Rock You, Amneris in Tim Rice and Elton John’s Aida (Da Capo Award for ‘Best Musical Performer’), and the title role in Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay’s musical Elisabeth, based on the story of Empress Elisabeth of Austria.

In addition, Verkaik 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.

Recently acclaimed as “one of the most popular West End musicals ever” (London Evening Standard), the Olivier Award-winning London production is already the 16th longest-running West End musical of all time and has now been seen by over five million people since its London premiere in 2006. While continuing its record-breaking, open-ended run at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, a major new production will tour the UK and Ireland, opening at Manchester’s Palace Theatre in September 2013.

NB: Louise Dearman will play her final performance as Elphaba on Saturday, November 16, 2013.

Wicked is currently booking at the Apollo Victoria Theatre until April 26, 2014.

Read more about Wicked.