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Complete London Wicked Cast Announced

The principal London cast of WICKED is confirmed as: Idina Menzel, who will recreate her Tony Award-winning Broadway performance as Elphaba, Helen Dallimore, who will make her West End debut as Glinda, Adam Garcia as Fiyero, Miriam Margolyes as Madame Morrible, Nigel Planer as The Wizard, Katie Rowley Jones as Nessarose, James Gillan as Boq and Martin Ball as Doctor Dillamond. Kerry Ellis will be standby for Elphaba before taking over the role in January 2007 and Annalene Beechey will be the standby for Glinda.

The company will include: Simon Adkins, Paul Ayres, Joseph Connor, Nadine Cox, Sarah Earnshaw, Jye Frasca, Maria Graciano, Nicky Griffiths, Simon Hardwick, Pippa Higgs, Melissa Hunte, Cassidy Janson, Caroline Keiff, Joshua Lacey, Andy Mace, Dominic Shaw, Philippa Stefani, Craig Stein, Oliver Tompsett, Tim Walton and Kerry Washington.

Musical supervisor/director Gareth Valentine has also joined the WICKED creative team.

WICKED, Broadway's smash-hit musical that tells the untold story of the legendary witches from L. Frank Baum's classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, will open at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre on Wednesday 27 September with previews from Thursday 7 September.

Based on the novel 'Wicked' by Gregory Maguire, WICKED has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz; book by Winnie Holzman; scenic design by Eugene Lee; costumes by Susan Hilferty; lighting by Kenneth Posner; sound by Tony Meola; projections by Elaine J. McCarthy; wig and hair designs by Tom Watson; music supervision and arrangements by Stephen Oremus; orchestrations by William David Brohn; dance arrangements by James Lynn Abbott; musical staging by Wayne Cilento and is directed by Joe Mantello.

WICKED is presented in London by Marc Platt, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone. General Management: ACT Productions / Nick Salmon, Executive Producer: Michael McCabe.

PRINCIPAL CAST BIOGRAPHIES

Idina Menzel (Elphaba) won the 2004 Tony Award for 'Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical' for her performance as 'Elphaba' in the original Broadway cast of WICKED. Idina has a diverse career on stage, in films and in music. She stars opposite Salma Hayek and Colin Farrell in Robert Towne's film Ask The Dust, opening in the UK in June. Idina can currently be seen in director Chris Columbus' film version of the Pulitzer prize-winning musical Rent, in which she reprises her Broadway role as 'Maureen'. Idina is currently shooting Kevin Lima's Enchanted, opposite Susan Sarandon, James Marsden and Amy Adams, and is also currently at work on an album for her record label, Warner Bros. Records. Idina has just received 2005 Drama League and Drama Desk award nominations for her performance in Michael John LaChiusa's musical See What I Wanna See directed by Ted Sperling at New York's Public Theater at the end of 2005. She received a Tony nomination for her Broadway debut performance as 'Maureen', in the original production of Rent at the Nederlander Theatre. She also earned a Drama Desk nomination for her performance as 'Kate' in Manhattan Theater Club's acclaimed Off-Broadway original musical The Wild Party. She originated the role of 'Dorothy' in Summer of '42 at Goodspeed, appeared as 'Sheila' in the Encores! production of Hair and starred as 'Amneris' in Broadway's Aida. Her other Off-Broadway credits include the pre-Broadway production of Rent and The Vagina Monologues. Idina's additional film credits include Summer of Sam, Just a Kiss, Kissing Jessica Stein, Tollbooth and Water. A skillful songwriter, Idina writes and performs her own music. Her CD of original music, Here, was independently released on her Zel Records label and produced by Jamey Jaz for Opopp Entertainment. In 1998, Idina performed at the Lilith Fair summer concert festival and released her debut album, Still I Can't Be Still, on Hollywood Records.

Helen Dallimore (Glinda) will make her West End debut as Glinda in WICKED. Helen grew up in Oxford and in Sydney, Australia, where she trained as an actress at The National Institute of Dramatic Art. With years of singing studies behind her, Helen first made her name playing 'Miss Adelaide' in Guys and Dolls when still at NIDA, and was immediately cast by the prestigious Sydney Theatre Company in David Edgar's Pentecost. She has subsequently appeared in many productions for STC, including The Unlikely Prospect of Happiness, The Hanging Man by Andrew Upton and Gale Edwards' production of Up for Grabs, in which she created the central role of 'Simone', later played in the West End by Madonna. She was recently part of the ensemble that opened the company's Sydney Theatre, with the musical The Republic of Myopia and the play Harbour. Helen has simultaneously enjoyed a career in film and television, playing leading roles in the movies The Extra and Mr Accident, the TV movies Secret Bridesmaid's Business and Day of the Roses and guest roles on All Saints, Water Rats, Home and Away, Flipper and GP. She has also appeared in several U.S. productions including the TV movies South Pacific (starring Glenn Close and Harry Connick Jr.) and The Three Stooges, as well as the U.S. feature film Kangaroo Jack. Helen recently returned to England and has since appeared on television in Midsomer Murders.

Adam Garcia (Fiyero) created the role of 'Tony Manero' in the stage premiere of Saturday Night Fever at the London Palladium in 1998 for which he received an Olivier Award nomination as 'Best Actor in a Musical'. His other theatre credits include Hot Shoe Shuffle (Queen's Theatre); 'Doody' in Grease (Dominion Theatre); 'Young Al' in Birdy (Comedy Theatre); Cadillac Ranch (Soho Theatre) and Where Do We Live (Royal Court). Adam most recently starred as 'Chip' in Leonard Bernstein's On The Town for English National Opera at the London ColiseuM. Adam helped develop the role of 'Fiyero' in the 2002 workshop of WICKED in New York. On television he has appeared in Doctor Who: The Christmas Invasion, watched by over 9 million people; Agatha Christie's Marple: The Body in the Library; as 'Nijinsky' in Kevin Elyot's Riot at the Rite and in Sky's football drama Dream Team. His most recent film, Standing Still, in which Adam stars with James Van Der Beek and Amy Adams, was recently released in the U.S. His many other film appearances include The First 20 Million Is Always The Hardest; Wilde; Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen and Jerry Bruckheimer's Coyote Ugly.

Miriam Margolyes (Madame Morrible) has made over 40 major film appearances including: 'Professor Sprout' in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; 'Nurse' in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio and Clare Danes; 'Mrs Mingott' in Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence, for which she won the BAFTA award for 'Best Supporting Actress'; 'Peg Sellers' in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers with Geoffrey Rush; 'Dolly de Vries' in Being Julia with Annette Bening; 'Dorcas' (the housekeeper) in Ladies in Lavender with Judi Dench and Maggie Smith and 'Flora Finching' in Little Dorrit, for which she won the LA Critics' Circle Award for 'Best Supporting Actress'. Her multiple television appearances include Blackadder I, II and III; 'Miss Crawley' in the BBC adaptation of Vanity Fair; 'Mrs Price-Ridley' in Agatha Christie's Marple: The Murder at the Vicarage with Geraldine McEwan and, most recently, as the presenter of the 4-part documentary series Dickens In America. Miriam has appeared frequently on stage in the UK, North America and Australia and she has performed her acclaimed one-woman show, Dickens' Women, all over the world. She is currently starring as 'Miss Prism' in The Importance of Being Earnest with Lynn Redgrave in New York until 14 May. Miriam's extensive voice-over work has included the famous Cadbury's Caramel rabbit, 'Fly' (the female sheepdog) in Babe and Babe: Pig In The City and 'Aunt Sponge' in Roald Dahl's James And The Giant Peach with Joanna Lumley. In 2002, Miriam was awarded an OBE for her services to drama.

Nigel Planer (The Wizard) is a founder member London's Comedy Store and an original member of The Comic Strip. His West End appearances include Evita (original London cast and theatrical debut); 'Amos Hart' in the original 1997 London cast of Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre; 'George' in Feelgood at Hampstead and the Garrick Theatre; Alan Ayckbourn's Man of the Moment at the Gielgud Theatre; as 'Pop' in the original London cast of the Queen/Ben Elton musical We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre and 'Frosch' in Die Fledermaus for English National Opera at the London Coliseum. Nigel has made numerous television and film appearances including 'Neil' in The Young Ones (plus a number 2 chart hit with 'Hole in My Shoe'); three series of The Grimleys; three series of Shine On Harvey Moon; two series of King and Castle; Dennis Potter's Blackeyes; 'Ralph Filthy' in Filthy, Rich and Catflap; 'The Comic Strip Presents…'; Brazil; Yellowbeard; Land Girls; Clockwork Mice; The Supergrass and Eat The Rich. Nigel first created his infamous alter-ego, 'Nicholas Craig: The Naked Actor', in 1990. He has published several books, including The Right Man and Faking It, and also scripted, and is all the voices for, The New Magic Roundabout.

Katie Rowley Jones (Nessarose) recently starred as 'Belle' in the national tour of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Having gained a BA Hons degree in law from the University of Nottingham, Katie went on to train in musical theatre at the Guildford School of Acting, graduating in 2001. She made her professional stage debut playing the role of 'Swallow' in the original national tour cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman's musical Whistle Down The Wind. She then went on to play 'Janet' in the 30th Anniversary production of Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show in the West End, at the Queen's Theatre, and on national tour. Katie then starred as 'Sandy Dumbrowski' in EC1's production of Grease at the Larnaca Open Air Amphitheatre in Cyprus. More recently she performed alongside Claire Sweeney as 'The Princess' in Aladdin, both at the Milton Keynes and New Wimbledon Theatres.

James GillAN (Boq) most recently starred as 'John Hinkley' in Stephen Sondheim's Assassins at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre. His other theatre credits include 'Rusty' in the national tour and West End production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Starlight Express; 'Marilyn' in the national tour of Boy George's musical Taboo; 'Peter' in George Stiles and Anthony Drewe's Peter Pan at the Royal Festival Hall; 'Iras' in Anthony and Cleopatra and 'Lucius' in Julius Caesar, both at Shakespeare's Globe and 'Benjamin' in the national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He received a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for his performance in The Who's Tommy at the Shaftesbury Theatre and has previously appeared in two Stephen Schwartz musicals, playing 'James' in Godspell at the Chichester Festival Theatre and the title role in Pippin at the Bridewell Theatre. James comes from Glasgow and trained at the Arts Educational School.

Martin Ball (Doctor Dillamond) most recently starred as 'Harry Bright' in Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus' musical Mamma Mia! at the Prince of Wales Theatre. His other theatre work includes 'Richard' in Terry Johnson's Dead Funny at the Nottingham Playhouse; 'Fancourt Babberley' in Charley's Aunt at the Sheffield Crucible Theatre and 'Colin' in Absent Friends at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, directed by Alan Ayckbourn. Martin's numerous television appearances include: 'Prosecuting QC Tim Frazier' in Family Affairs (Talkback/Thames); 'Mr Steele', the Headmaster, in two series of Bernard's Watch (Carlton); the Games Master in My Dad's the Prime Minister (BBC) and 'Andrew Beare' in two series of Keeping Mum (BBC). He also appeared in the film Ali-G in Da House for Da Films. Martin was born and raised in Tunbridge Wells in Kent. He trained at Webber Douglas, graduating in 1992.

Kerry Ellis (Standby for Elphaba) is currently playing 'Fantine' in Boublil and Schönberg's musical Les Miserables at the Queen's Theatre. She also played 'Ellen' in the national tour of Miss Saigon. Kerry played 'Meat' in the original London cast of the Queen/Ben Elton musical We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre and took part in the Queen's Silver Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace. In 2001, Kerry understudied the role of 'Eliza Dolittle' in Trevor Nunn's production of Lerner & Loewe's My Fair Lady at The National Theatre and Drury Lane, playing the role opposite Jonathan Pryce on many occasions. Kerry trained at Laine Theatre Arts. She will take over the role of 'Elphaba' in WICKED in January 2007.

Annalene Beechey (Standby for Glinda) is currently playing 'Cinderella' in Stephen Sondheim's Into The Woods at the Derby Playhouse. Her recent theatre roles include 'Alice' in Alice In Wonderland (West Yorkshire Playhouse), 'Molly Cassidy' in The Ha'penny Bridge (The Point, Dublin), 'Belle' in Disney's Beauty and the Beast (national tour and previously at London's Dominion Theatre); 'Anne Egerman' in Sondheim's A Little Night Music and 'Dorothy' in the RSC version of The Wizard of Oz (both at Leicester Haymarket); 'Johanna' in the concert version of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd (Royal Festival Hall); 'Cosette' in Les Miserables at the Palace Theatre; 'Belle' in A Christmas Carol (Theatre Royal, Nottingham); the alternate 'Christine' in The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty's Theatre); 'Sadie Sears' (and understudy 'Julie Jordan') in Cameron Mackintosh's production of Carousel (Shaftesbury Theatre) and ensemble / understudy 'Cosette' in Les Miserables in Dublin and Edinburgh. Annalene has also performed the role of 'Cosette' in concert versions of Les Miserables in Chelmsford, Cardiff and Belfast. Her television credits include 'Roisin O'Brien' in The Bill and the Euro '96 Closing Ceremony at Wembley Stadium. Annalene was part of the Opera Chorus in Joel Schumacher's film version of The Phantom of the Opera. She trained at The Bull Alley Theatre Company in Dublin.

Gareth Valentine

Gareth Valentine was musical supervisor and a judge on the acclaimed Channel 4 series Musicality. His most recent credits include musical supervisor and new musical arrangements for Sinatra at the London Palladium; musical supervisor, dance arranger and musical director for Anything Goes at The National Theatre and Drury Lane; composer of the original score and musical supervisor for Aladdin at The Old Vic and musical supervisor and dance arranger for Victoria Wood's musical Acorn Antiques. Gareth has served as musical director and/or musical supervisor on over 20 London shows, including Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre. His Requiem was recorded at Abbey Road Studios and released in 2001 and has subsequently been performed all over the world.

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