New Wizard takes over from Michael Crawford
A new Wizard has been announced in the hit musical The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium – Russell Grant! Having recently been in the public eye in the 2011 season of Strictly Come Dancing, Grant is set to take over from Michael Crawford in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of the classic musical on 14th February 2012.
Having first appeared on television in 1979 talking about his favourite subject – astrology, Grant went on to become Britain’s beloved astrologer and appeared on numerous television shows offering his advice and knowledge in the field. He has since taken part in several shows including his own for Sky One in 2004, and appeared on reality TV shows Celebrity Fit Club and Kitchen Burnout. He recently appeared on Strictly, famously being catapulted out of a rocket during one routine, and simultaneously catapulting himself back into the hearts of the Nation. Now, he will star as a leading role on the famous West End stage of the Palladium.
Russell has said of his new role as the Wizard,
“I am thrilled to be back where I’m at my happiest – in showbiz! I want to thank the great British public for their kindness in supporting me in Strictly: without them, I wouldn’t be back in the West End again.”
Taking over from Michael Crawford who originated the role, Grant is set to play the Wizard for a limited run of 12 weeks. Joining him is Sophie Evans as Dorothy who replaces Danielle Hope. Evans was a runner-up in BBC’s Over the Rainbow which Hope won, narrowly missing out on the main role. Since the show opened at the London Palladium in March 2011 however, she has been understudying the character and playing Dorothy on certain dates. Now, she will play the part full-time.
Be sure to catch Russell in the role during his limited run!
What do you think of Russell Grant taking over from Michael Crawford? Do you think he will make a good Wizard or can you think of someone else who you think would be good in the role? Add your comments below!