“Wicked” will set out on its first ever tour of the U.K. and Ireland late next year.
The performances will begin at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, England, on September 12, 2013, and the tour will continue through November 16. Additional cities and casting will be announced later.
“With ‘Wicked’ continuing its phenomenally successful London run, we are very proud to also now be announcing this major tour of the UK and Ireland,” said executive producer Michael McCabe in a statement. “We are absolutely delighted that the premiere will take place in the amazing city of Manchester which has such a prestigious history of hosting the regional premieres of so many world class musicals.”
The London version of the show premiered in 2006 and continues to play at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. Andrew Stokes, Chief Executive, Marketing Manchester, also expressed his excitement about the coming tour.
“‘Wicked’ is one of the most popular new musicals of our time and we are delighted that Manchester will be the first port of call for its UK tour as part of the ‘Manchester Gets It First Initiative,’” Stokes said in the release. “The Palace Theatre is an icon of the city and a major contributor to our night-time economy. It is a worthy stage for the production’s first performance out of the capital and will no doubt prove popular with the over one million international visitors a year that the city-region attracts.”
The music and lyrics of ‘Wicked’ are written by Grammy winner Stephen Schwartz, while Winnie Holzman wrote the book. Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello directs the performance, which is based on the Gregory Maguire novel “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.”
Currently, there are seven productions of “Wicked” being performed around the world: Broadway, London, Japan and Holland, with two touring versions in North America and one in South America.