Former Doctor Who star Arthur Darvill is to join the London production of Once from 17 March, playing the lead role of Guy at the Phoenix Theatre.
The casting finds Darvill reprising the role he has already played to acclaim in the Broadway production.
Best known for his long-running role as Rory opposite Karen Gillan and Matt Smith in hit family sci-fi series Doctor Who, actor and musician Darvill also appeared as Reverend Paul Coates in acclaimed ITV drama Broadchurch. He has previously appeared on the London stage in Our Boys (Duchess Theatre), Doctor Faustus (Shakespeare’s Globe) and Been So Long (Young Vic).
It is as yet unconfirmed whether Darvill will star opposite current leading lady Zrinka Cvitešić, or whether a new Girl has been cast.
To help celebrate the new casting and Once’s first West End birthday, his first performance, held on St Patrick’s Day, will be a charity gala. Proceeds from ticket sales for the special performance will be donated to Oxfam’s Mother Appeal. The specific appeal aims to aid mothers around the world, and in doing so start a chain reaction as mothers help lift their families and communities out of poverty.
Speaking about the gala, musician and presenter Lauren Laverne, who supports the appeal, said: “It’s great that the West End production of Once and Oxfam are teaming up to raise vital funds for the Mother Appeal. The musical could not be a better example of how a struggling mother strives to give her young daughter the best in life.”
Once, which is based on an Oscar-winning film, is a story of love, friendship and music. When an Irish busker ready to give up on his dream meets a young Czech mother, their shared love of music sparks a deep connection that changes both their lives.
Once began its West End run in March 2013 and is currently booking until July 2015.