Kerry Ellis will star as Gwendolen, her first non-singing role, in the 2018 UK tour of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance Of Being Earnest, it has been announced.
She will share the role with Hannah Louise Howell. They join Geoff Aymer, Louise Coulthard, Thomas Howes, Peter Sandys-Clarke and Simon Shackleton, with Gwen Taylor as the redoubtable Lady Bracknell and Susan Penhaligon as Miss Prism.
The tour will begin on 24 January at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford, ending on 28 April in Eastbourne.
Theatre star and recording artist, Kerry Ellis is best known for originating the role of Meat, in Queen’s We Will Rock You, and was the first British actress to play Elphaba in Wicked, for which Kerry won the 2008 What’s on Stage Award for ‘Best Takeover in a Role’.
She then played the role at the Gershwin Theatre on Broadway for six months, where she won the Broadway.com Audience Award for ‘Favourite Female Breakthrough Performance’.
Her other West End theatre work includes Sara in Murder Ballad at The Arts Theatre, Nancy in Oliver!, Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Ellen in Miss Saigon, Fantine in Les Misérables and she took over from Nicole Scherzinger in the role of Grizabella in Cats.
Oscar Wilde’s greatly admired and much loved comedy follows Jack Worthing’s endeavours to marry Algernon’s cousin, the beautiful Gwendolen.
But first he must convince the fearsome Lady Bracknell of his respectability.
Wilde’s classic play looks at the clash of town and country in a story of romance, identity, perambulators and capacious handbags.
The Importance will be directed by Original Theatre Company’s artistic director, Alastair Whatley.
2018 TOUR SCHEDULE
24 January – 3 February, Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford
5 – 10 February, Courtyard Theatre, Hereford
13 – 17 February, Theatre Royal Plymouth
20 – 24 February, Belfast Grand Opera House
27 February – 3 March, Bath Theatre Royal
5 – 10 March, Theatre Royal Winchester
13 – 17 March, Manchester Opera House
20 – 24 March, Salisbury Playhouse
27 – 31 March, Lichfield Garrick Theatre
3 – 7 April, Churchill Theatre, Bromley
9 – 14 April, Cambridge Arts Theatre
17 – 21 April, York Theatre Royal
24 – 28 April, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne.