Entertainment & Arts

Dreamgirls to star Glee's Amber Riley in her West End debut

Amber Riley Image copyright BLAIR CALDWELL
Image caption Amber Riley will play singer Effie White, the role played by Jennifer Hudson in the movie version

Glee's Amber Riley is to star in stage musical Dreamgirls when it opens in the West End in November.

The American actress will play soul singer Effie White in the musical inspired by the rise of 1960s R&B acts such as The Supremes.

Riley, who played Mercedes Jones in the TV comedy drama Glee, said that making her West End debut was "a dream realised".

The show begins previews at the Savoy Theatre in November.

It will be directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, who also directed The Book of Mormon, and is being brought to the UK for the first time by Sonia Friedman Productions.

Dreamgirls tells the story of a female trio, from Chicago, Illinois, called The Dreams and features the original songs And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going and I Am Changing.

Riley said: "I am so honoured and excited to not only be playing such an iconic role, but also to be working with Sonia Friedman and Casey Nicholaw. Working on the West End is now a dream realised, I just feel like this is going to be something special."

Riley's numerous theatre credits include Alice in Wonderland, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Into the Woods and Mystery on the Docks with the Los Angeles Opera. She won Dancing with the Stars in 2013.

Friedman said: "Having met Amber and having had the privilege of hearing her sing two of the iconic songs from Dreamgirls... I was left with goosebumps, tingles and tears; I was completely knocked out by this talented performer. London is very lucky to be the first to see her Effie."

Originally a Broadway production in 1981, which won six Tony Awards, Dreamgirls was adapted into the 2006 Oscar winning film starring Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Hudson (who played Effie White), Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx.

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