EastEnders actress Rita Simons to star as Miss Hedge in Everybody's Talking About Jamie come August
Following the departure of Drag Race star Bianca Del Rio, who helped kick off the summer season serving you Loco Chanelle realness, and after the recent announcement that Bill Ward would be taking over her role, further casting has been announced for Everybody's Talking About Jamie. Set to join the cast of the award-winning musical is none other than Rita Simons from EastEnders, who heads to London's West End to star as Miss Hedge this August. The Jamie musical is currently booking at the Apollo Theatre until 25 January 2020 in an open-ended run.
Rita Simons takes to stage as Miss Hedge in Everybody's Talking About Jamie
English actress Rita Simons, best known for portraying Roxy Mitchell in BBC's EastEnders from 2007 to 2017, is set to take over the role of Miss Hedge from Steps singer Faye Tozer, who finishes her run as the character on Saturday, 3 August 2019. Simons will step into the role on Monday, 5 August 2019.
Miss Hedge has previously been played by Drag Race judge Michelle Visage and Dancing On Ice winner Hayley Tamaddon, who made headlines when a disruptive audience member shouted profanities at her character during a performance.
Spotlight on Rita Simons
In the year 2000, the London-born actress began her career as a singer when she became a member of the moderately successful girl group, Girls@Play, whose singles 'Respectable' and 'Airhead' reached the Top 20 on the UK Singles Chart. After the group disbanded in 2001, Simons joined another group called Charli, which was formed with Shar from the Paradiso Girls, but their single 'Feel Me' failed to chart.
The singer then crossed over into acting, appearing on the Sky 1 dramas Mile High (2003) and Dream Team (2002) and London's Burning on ITV. Her career as an actress really took off when she landed the role of Roxy Mitchell on EastEnders alongside her co-star and personal friend, Samantha Womack (who stars in the upcoming stage production of The Girl On The Train this summer at the Duke Of York's Theatre) as Ronnie Mitchell. Her role on the soap opera lasted for 10 years before her character was eventually killed off, though she recently reprised her role on the show to do a voiceover.
Aside from her television roles, including her stint on the 2018 series of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, Simons is also a highly prolific musical theatre actress. Her previous stage credits, all of which were pantomimes, include Queen Ivannah in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (2016), Scheherazade in an Aladdin pantomime (2017), and Paulette Bonafonte in Sleeping Beauty (2018). Her upcoming appearance in Everybody's Talking About Jamie marks her first non-pantomime musical theatre production and her background as a pop star makes her more than qualified for the role.
Also starring in the Everybody's Talking About Jamie West End cast
Rita Simons joins Layton Williams as Jamie New, Bill Ward as Hugo/Loco Chanelle (who begins his performance tonight, 1 July), Courtney Bowman as Fatimah, Daniel Jacob as Sandra Bollock, Emily Kenwright as Vicki, Harriet Payne as Bex, James Gillan as Tray Sophisticay, Jordan Laviniere as Cy, Luke Baker as Dean Paxton, Luke Latchman as Sayid, Marlon G Day as Dad, Rebecca McKinnis as Margaret New, Ryan Hughes as Mickey, Sabrina Sandhu as Pritti Pasha, Sejal Keshwala as Ray, Zahra Jones as Becca, and Ziggy Tyler Taylor as Levi.
The Jamie musical cast also stars Momar Diagne and Melissa Jacques in the ensemble as well as Biancha Szynal, Marvyn Charles, Rachel Price, and Adam Taylor as Swings.
Everybody can't stop talking about Jamie The Musical!
Everybody's Talking About Jamie first opened at the Sheffield Crucible in spring 2017 and became an overnight hit. The show transferred to the West End's Apollo Theatre later that year where it continues to play to packed audiences night after night. The critically acclaimed musical won a 2018 WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Musical and was nominated for five 2018 Olivier Awards, including one for Best New Musical. The show's overwhelming success has led to it being greenlit for a feature-length film, with shooting having commenced last month. The cast for the upcoming film adaptation of Everybody's Talking About Jamie is set to star Richard E Grant from Game of Thrones as Jamie New's drag mother and mentor, Loco Chanelle/Hugo. The West End musical is now set to launch a nationwide touring production, which will open at Sheffield Theatres in February 2020.
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Although the musical likes to rotate its cast very often, its cast members remain talented and fresh and there's always something new to look forward to with this hit West End production. Now starring Layton Williams and Bill Ward, and soon to be starring Rita Simons, Everybody's Talking About Jamie is still ready to knock your socks off! Come see why 'everybody and they mama' is talking about Jamie and book your Jamie musical tickets now for the best seats at London's Apollo Theatre at the best prices!
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