Actress Rita Simons will join the West End cast of Everybody's Talking About Jamie.
Simons, best known for playing Roxy Mitchell in EastEnders, will join the current cast from August 5.
She'll play teacher Miss Hedge for a limited season, replacing Steps star Faye Tozer in the role.
Rita Simons said: “I am so excited to be playing Miss Hedge in what is by far my favourite show…I went to see it when it opened and always wanted to be part of this incredible show…roll on August!”
Nica Burns, Producer of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie added: “Rita is a very popular and much-loved actress. Before she burst onto our TV screens winning Most Popular Newcomer at the National Television Awards, she had a successful career as a singer and two hit singles with the band, Girls @ Play. She will knock you out with her voice as she rocks it as Miss Hedge.”
Together with her many TV appearances, Simons' theatre credits include Legally Blonde (UK Tour) and The House in Cold Hill (UK Tour).
She'll join a cast that will include fellow soap star Bill Ward.
Ward, best known for his roles in ITV’s Coronation Street and Emmerdale, joins the current cast from July 1in the role of Hugo, who also goes by the drag alter-ego Loco Chanelle.
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."
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.