Susan McFadden, the Irish actress who won ITV1’s reality casting show Grease is the Word and has been appearing as Legally Blonde's alternate Elle Woods since October, will take over from Sheridan Smith in the musical's leading role from 10 January 2011, producers announced today (17 December 2010).
McFadden won the role of Sandy in Grease at the Piccadilly Theatre, performing alongside fellow Grease is the Word winner Danny Bayne from August 2007. Her other theatre credits include the role of Milly in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers on tour and the title role in Cinderella at the Theatre Royal, Wakefield. Born in Dublin, her Irish theatre credits include Singin’ in the Rain, Dance of Desire and Annie. She has also appeared on Relative Strangers and Bachelors Walk for Irish broadcaster RTE.
She joins the principal cast of Denise Van Outen as beautician Paulette (who joined the show in November 2010), Simon Thomas as Warner, Alex Gaumond as her new love interest Emmett, Siobhan Dillon who plays Vivienne, Carley Stenson as Margot, Aoife Mulholland who plays Brooke and Peter Davison as Callahan.