Former Wicked star Kerry Ellis will lead the West End premiere of New York’s hit rock musical Murder Ballad at the Arts Theatre this autumn.
Described as a “violent tabloid tale of illicit love, lust and betrayal” the gritty tale of a young New Yorker torn between her dangerous ex-boyfriend and her reliable husband will play from 29 September to 3 December at the Leicester Square venue.
Arriving in London direct from hugely successful runs at two of New York’s most prestigious Off-Broadway theatres, Murder Ballad was conceived by award-winning playwright Julia Jordan with a book and lyrics by indie singer/songwriter Juliana Nash.
Ellis will play the show’s love torn Sara, documenting her adulterous journey as she runs between the arms of Tom, a gritty bartender, and husband Michael, a quiet poetry student at NYU. Embarking on an affair with Tom, the intensity of their relationship soon leads to her missing her old life with Michael, but, as the title suggests, her actions have the potential to lead to tragic consequences.
Writing about the show during its Off Broadway tenure, The New York Times said: “This steamy show is a love triangle with a razor’s edge. The show features taut, tart, and pungent lyrics by Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash. It’s a show that knows exactly what it wants to do, and then does it, with no apologising or backtracking.”
The production will mark Ellis’ return to the stage following her 2015 appearance in the revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats. With leading roles in an impressive number of classic musicals under her belt including My Fair Lady, Les Misérables and Chess, the show will see the star once again show off her rock talents following her long-running role in former West End hit We Will Rock You, in which she originated the role of Meat.
Further casting for Murder Ballad is still to be announced.