Sheridan Smith to leave Legally Blonde on 8 January; Susan McFadden to take the lead.

Susan McFadden

Susan McFadden

Susan McFadden is to take over from Sheridan Smith in the lead role of Elle Woods in the West End production of Legally Blonde at the Savoy Theatre.

The Irish actress, who won ITV talent show Grease is the Word in 2007 and played Sandy in the current production of Grease at the Piccadilly Theatre, has been covering the role of Elle and playing the part of Serena in Legally Blonde since October.  She will take over from Sheridan Smith from 10 January 2011.

McFadden, who has been cast in a number of shows produced by Legally Blonde co-producer Ambassador Theatres, has extensive theatre credits in both the UK and Ireland including a national tour of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Cinderella at the Theatre Royal Wakefield, Jack and the Beanstalk at the Gaiety Theatre Dublin, plus Singin’ in the Rain, Annie, Dance of Desire and Brighton Beach Memoirs.

The rest of the Legally Blonde principal cast will continue to appear in the show, including Denise Van Outen as Paulette, Simon Thomas as Warner, Alex Gaumond as Emmett, Siobhan Dillon as Vivienne, Carley Stenson as Margot, Aoife Mulholland as Brooke and Peter Davison as Callahan.

The comedy musical, which opened in January, is based on the movie starring Reese Witherspoon about college sweetheart and homecoming queen Elle Woods, who goes all out to prove to her ex-boyfriend Warner that she’s more than just a dumb blonde – by joining him at Harvard Law School.

The show is directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, with music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, book by Heather Hach, set design by David Rockwell, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Kenneth Posner and Paul Miller, sound design by ACME Sound Partners and orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke.

Book tickets to Legally Blonde at the Savoy Theatre in London