Former Alnwick student Daniel Hope has taken his last bow in the West End production of Wicked and has this week begun rehearsals for a new role in the heart of London’s theatreland.
Daniel, 25, who was born and brought up in Alnwick, has been a member of the Wicked cast since September 2014, and last year took a lead role as Boq, the part for which he had previously been understudying.
As of this week, however, he has left the Wicked cast and will now take on the role of Michael Wormwood in the RSC’s musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda. Daniel announced the change of scene on Twitter on Monday, eager to join his new castmates: ‘From Munchkin to Maggot! So excited to open in this incredible show.’
After leaving the Duchess’s High School in 2009, Daniel went on to study musical theatre at Performer’s college in Essex before his career began to kick off when he landed the part in Wicked.
He established a firm footing in the company, as a member of the ensemble and understudy for Boq until September 2015 when he successfully landed the Boq lead.
Wicked details the story of what happened before The Wizard of Oz, and enlightens the audience to a number of unanswered questions, including the tragic love story between Boq, Nessarose and Glinda, and how Boq became the Tin Man.
This September takes him down a different route, however, as he leaves the magic of Oz behind and prepares for the enchantment of Matilda, as her not-so-enchanting older brother. Dan is leaving behind a cast of people that are more family than work colleagues, who have helped him through the years by supporting him when he first took on the role of Boq.
Speaking to the Gazette, Daniel revealed his time with Wicked was ‘incredible’. His last show was on Saturday.
“It’s been an amazing journey. I joined the cast two years ago and it’s been nice to switch it up each year, you really get a sense of what everyone else does.
“It’s a fantastic show and everyone can relate to it because of the Wizard of Oz connection.”
Dan is particularly excited to be joining Matilda during the centenary year of Roald Dahl’s birth and the fifth anniversary of the production in the West End.
“It’s a very special year to be joining,” he said. “I also like doing something new and the kids are incredible, there are nine in each full team. There are so many inspiring people.
“Tim Minchin wrote the lyrics to the show in an incredible way, taking the audience to Roald Dahl’s magical world of Matilda.”
He also talked of how he is looking forward to having such a central location, as the production’s West End home at the Cambridge Theatre is next to Covent Garden.
Daniel makes his Matilda debut on Tuesday, September 13, alongside Sara Sheen and Abbie Vena, who are also joining the cast, sharing the title role, and a host of other new recruits.
The actors playing the intimidating Miss Trunchbull, Miss Honey, and Mr and Mrs Wormwood will remain the same.