Soap actor Bill Ward will join the West End cast of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.
Ward, best known for his roles in ITV’s Coronation Street and Emmerdale, will join the current cast from July 1.
He’ll play the role of Hugo, who also goes by the drag alter-ego Loco Chanelle, for a limited season.
Ward will take over from RuPaul’s Drag Race star Bianca Del Rio who has been in the show since May. He is scheduled to play his final performance on June 29.
As well as Emmerdale and Coronation Street, his other TV credits include Silent Witness, Doctors, The Bill, Holby City, Casualty and Robin Hood. Theatre credits include Legally Blonde, The Hairy Ape, Viva Forever and Million Dollar Quartet.
Bill Ward said: “I’m delighted to be joining the cast of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. It’s a wonderful story, genuinely heart-warming with some cracking tunes, and an awful lot of fun.
“I’m particularly looking forward to finding my inner Loco Chanelle, and stepping into one of the biggest pairs of stilettoes I’ve ever seen.”
Nica Burns, Producer of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie said: “Hugo/Loco Chanelle is a terrific part which has attracted fantastic performers.
“We are delighted to welcome tv and stage star, Bill Ward, who will bring his own sparkle to the role currently played by Roy Haylock/Bianca del Rio and before that, Shane Richie.”
Inspired by a true story, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie has proved a hit on the West End ever since opening in 2017.
Supported by his brilliant loving mum and surrounded by his friends, 16-year-old Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight.
The title role of Jamie New is currently played by Layton Williams (Bad Education, Beautiful People) with the rest of the 2019 cast including Rebecca McKinnis, Sejal Keshwala, Sabrina Sandhu.
The musical, which features music by Dan Gillespie Sells and lyrics & book by Tom MacRae, is currently booking through until Saturday, 25 January 2020.
A tour will begin next year in Sheffield.