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Keith Bartlett to Join WICKED as The Wizard from July

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Wicked, the hit musical now in its sixth year at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre, will welcome Keith Bartlett to the role of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz from Monday 30 July.

Desmond Barrit will play his final performance as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz on Saturday 7 July. From Monday 9 July until Saturday 28 July, Christopher Howell will play the role.

An acclaimed classical actor, Keith Bartlett will make his West End musical debut in Wicked. He previously starred in Stephen Schwartz's musical Godspell, as John The Baptist, in Basingstoke in 1998. His many celebrated appearances with the RSC include Henry VI Parts 1, 2 & 3 and Richard III, as part of 'The Histories' season at Stratford-upon-Avon and The Roundhouse, The Winter's Tale, The Tempest and Pericles. His numerous other theatre credits include, for Headlong: Romeo & Juliet; for Shakespeare's Globe: King James Bible recital and A New World: A Life of Thomas Paine; for the Donmar Warehouse: A Lie of the Mind, The Front Page and Glengarry Glen Ross; for The National Theatre: Mary Stuart, The Crucible, Piano and Murmuring Judges, and, for Cheek by Jowl: Macbeth, Philoctetes, Twelfth Night, The Tempest and The Cid. His television and film appearances include: Silent Witness, New Tricks, The Bill and Truly Madly Deeply.

London's WICKED has won numerous major UK awards since its West End premiere in 2006 including the 2011 Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Night Out, the 2010 Oliver Award for Most Popular Show, 8 Whatsonstage.com Awards including Best New Musical (2007) and Best West End Show (in both 2011 and 2010) and the 2009 Visit London Award for Best Family Fun.

There are 7 productions of Wicked playing concurrently around the world, including the original production in New York. Wicked has been seen by 30 million people worldwide and grossed almost $2.5 billion.

Based on the novel by Gregory Maquire, Wicked has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, a book by Winnie Holzman and is directed by Joe Mantello.

Official UK website, video trailer and online booking: www.WickedTheMusical.co.uk

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