Martyn Ellis steps into the role of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in the Apollo Victoria Theatre's long-running hit musical Wicked from today, Monday 17 February. He replaces Sam Kelly, who has withdrawn from the production due to ill health.
Ellis' previous West End credits include Michael Grandage’s acclaimed production of Guys and Dolls with Ewan McGregor at the Piccadilly Theatre, and One Man, Two Guvnors at the NT and the Adelphi Theatre. He was an original cast member of Disney's The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre.
On television he played Friar Tuck in 52 episodes of The New Adventures of Robin Hood and will shortly be seen as Big Al in the new Sky 1 drama series The Smoke.
Ellis joins a cast made up of international Wicked star Willemijn Verkaik as Elphaba, Savannah Stevenson as Glinda, Jeremy Taylor as Fiyero, Sue Kelvin as Madame Morrible, Paul Clarkson as Doctor Dillamond, Sam Lupton as Boq and Katie Rowley Jones as Nessarose.
The London production of Wicked has been seen by over 5.5 million people since its premiere in September 2006. While continuing its open-ended West End run, a new production is also touring the UK and Ireland, having opened at Milton Keynes Theatre on 4 February. It will continue to Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool, Southampton, Edinburgh and Aberdeen with further dates to be announced.
Wicked has music and lyrics by multi Grammy and Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz, book by Winnie Holzman, musical staging by Wayne Cilento and is directed by two-time Tony Award winner and Olivier Award nominee Joe Mantello. Wicked, which is based on the acclaimed novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, has won over 90 international awards.