Rising musical theatre stars David Hunter and Jill Winternitz have been announced as Olivier Award-winning musical Once’s new leading pair.
Taking the baton from current cast members Arthur Darvill and Zrinka Cvitešić, the latter of which was awarded an Olivier Award for her performance last month, Hunter and Winternitz will take to the stage to perform as Guy and Girl in John Tiffany’s much-loved production from 12 May.
They will follow in Darvill and Cvitešić’s critically acclaimed footsteps to recreate the story of an Irish busker and a young Czech mother who meet through a shared love of music. Based on the Oscar-winning film of the same name, Enda Walsh’s stage adaptation combines Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová’s stunning music with a witty and moving tale of romance, passion and beating the odds to realise your dreams.
While Winternitz, who made her West End debut last year in another screen to stage musical adaptation, Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage, is a newcomer to the Ireland-set production, Hunter has been a part of the company since July 2013. The actor, whose other credits include the National Theatre’s One Man, Two Guvnors and Seussical at the Arts Theatre, has been understudying the role of Guy, as well as providing musical support along with the rest of the cast who are all tasked with playing instruments live on stage.
Today’s casting announcement comes in the weeks following Once’s success at the Olivier Awards with MasterCard, where the show also picked up the first ever Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music trophy for the show’s emotive score that includes the Oscar-winning Falling Slowly.
Once is currently booking at the Phoenix Theatre until 4 July 2015.