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Co Tyrone Fra Fee lands West End role

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Stage stars: Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley in Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Stage stars: Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley in Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Co Tyrone actor Fra says he is delighted to have won the role

Co Tyrone actor Fra says he is delighted to have won the role

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Stage stars: Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley in Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Co Tyrone actor and singer Fra Fee has said he is “utterly delighted” after it was announced that he is to replace Eddie Redmayne as The Emcee in Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club in the West End.

The 34-year-old, who was born in Dungannon, was revealed as Redmayne’s replacement on Tuesday, while Amy Lennox will take over from Co Kerry actress Jessie Buckley as the iconic Sally Bowles.

Fee tweeted his surprise at the news, saying it was “a wholly unexpected but utterly delightful turn of events and he felt “unbelievably honoured”

Redmayne (40) and Buckley (32) have starred in the show since it opened at London’s Playhouse Theatre in December last year. Fee most recently starred as Kazi in the Disney+ Marvel series Hawkeye.

Earlier this year it was also announced that he had joined the cast of the upcoming Beauty and the Beast prequel series, also on Disney+, playing Prince Benoit Berlioz.

The actor, who was recently seen in the Camila Cabello-led Cinderella, is well-known for playing Courfeyrac in Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of Les Miserables and appearing in the stage production at the Queen’s Theatre.

Fee, who attended St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon, appeared in a number of productions at the Grand Opera House in Belfast.

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Following his graduation from the Royal Academy of Music, he was cast as Billy Kostecki in the West End production of Dirty Dancing.

His career has gone from strength to strength since then and in 2018 he was awarded the WhatsOnStage award for best supporting actor for his performance as Michael Carney in The Ferryman.

He made his Broadway debut in the same play, which went on to win four Tony awards.

Lennox (35) is best known for her work in musical theatre, having played Margot in the original West End cast of Legally Blonde in 2009, for which she also understudied Sheridan Smith in the leading role of Elle Woods.

She received an Olivier Award nomination for best actress in a supporting role in a musical for her portrayal of Lauren in the West End production of Kinky Boots.

Fee and Lennox previously worked together in The Last Five Years at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast.

Producers Adam Speers, Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming the perfectly marvellous Fra Fee and Amy Lennox to our production of Cabaret.

“We wanted to recast these career-defining roles with exceptional actors and so we’re just delighted that the stars have aligned with both Fra and Amy’s schedules.

“We couldn’t have asked for a more exciting and thrilling duo to follow Eddie and Jessie.”

Last month Fee posted on Twitter that he had been to see Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, describing it as ‘one of the most extraordinary nights at the theatre’ he had ever experienced.

A theatre-goer replied: “I could see you as Emcee”.

After the news of his new role was announced, fans posted their congratulations.

One wrote: “You will be iconic in this role. Brilliant casting.” Another said: “Huge shoes to fill.”

Redmayne received some criticism after it was announced that he would be taking on the role of The Emcee, the flamboyant master of ceremonies often portrayed by an LGBT performer.

In October last year, the actor, who has been married to wife Hannah Bagshawe since 2014, defended his casting to British Vogue. 

Redmayne said: “I hope, when people see the performance, the interpretation will justify the casting. The way I see the character is as Mercury, as shape-shifting and a survivor.”

Fee and Lennox will be joined in the production by Omar Baroud as Cliff Bradshaw and Vivien Parry as Fraulein Schneider.

 

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club will run from March 21 to June 25 at the Playhouse Theatre


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