Kerry Ellis to star in The Importance of Being Earnest

Kerry Ellis will star as Gwendolen, her first non-singing role, in the 2018 tour of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

She can be seen in the role when the play opens at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford (January 24-February 3), before moving on to the Courtyard Theatre Hereford; Theatre Royal Plymouth; Belfast Grand Opera House; Theatre Royal Bath and Manchester Opera House.

Hannah Louise Howell will play Gwendolen at other venues in Salisbury, Lichfield, Bromley, Cambridge, York and Eastbourne.

The pair will be joined by Geoff Aymer, Louise Coulthard, Thomas Howes, Peter Sandys-Clarke and Simon Shackleton.

They join the previously announced Gwen Taylor as Lady Bracknell and Susan Penhaligon as Miss Prism.

Ellis is best known for originating the role of Meat in Queen’s We Will Rock You and was the first British actress to play Elphaba in Wicked.

Her other West End theatre work includes Oliver!, My Fair Lady, Miss Saigon, Les Misérables and Cats.

She has also released four albums and toured the UK and Europe with Brian May of Queen.

Howell’s theatre credits include The Importance of Being Earnest, Engineers Blue, Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing.

Wilde’s comedy follows Jack Worthing’s endeavours to marry Algernon’s cousin, the beautiful Gwendolen and how he tries to convince the fearsome Lady Bracknell of his respectability.

Pictured: Back row, from left: Susan Penhaligon, Peter Sandys-Clarke, Thomas Howes, Simon Shackleton. Front: Kerry Ellis, Gwen Taylor and Louise Coulthard. Credit Jay Brooks.