Phill Jupitus joins Urinetown

Reporter: Matthew Amer, first published Tue 11 Nov 2014 11:12

Comedian and Never Mind The Buzzcocks star Phill Jupitus will take to the West End stage this Christmas, replacing Simon Paisley Day in Jamie Lloyd’s hit production of Urinetown The Musical.

Jupitus, who previously played Edna Turnblad in the London production of Hairspray, will play the tyrannical Caldwell B Cladwell from 1 December.

Paisley Day, who created the role for the London production when the show first played at the St James Theatre earlier this year, will perform for the final time on 29 November. That will also be the final performance for original cast members Jenna Russell and Marc Elliott, who’ll be replaced by fellow cast members Julie Jupp and Alasdair Buchan.

Jupitus, whose stage credits also include playing King Arthur in the UK Tour of Spamalot, auditioned for the role of WC dictator Cladwell when the show first opened in the capital, but lost out to seasoned musical star Paisley Day. Speaking to the Evening Standard he said he was intrigued by the musical as it was “very dark and very unconventional”.

Jupitus joins a cast that also includes Urinetown originals Jonathan Slinger and Rosanna Hyland, and West End newcomers Matthew Seadon-Young and Nathan Amzi.

The musical tells the story of a town where drought has caused a water shortage so intense personal toilets have been banned. Instead the public must use public amenities. But when all of these are owned by one man who can charge what he likes for their use, you know you’re in trouble. The plight of the pee-ers is perilous, what they need is a hero to lead them through the metaphorical sewer of their wee-based woes.

Urinetown The Musical is currently booking at the Apollo Theatre until 24 January.