British pop star Kimberley Walsh will join the London company of Shrek the Musical as Princess Fiona on October 5, replacing Amanda Holden, who announced her pregnancy on August 24. Holden, whose two previous miscarriages made headlines in London, will play her final performance at Theatre Royal Drury Lane on October 3, leaving the show two months earlier than originally planned.
Walsh is a member of Girls Aloud, one of the UK's most successful pop groups. Alongside Cheryl Cole, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts and Sarah Harding, she has sold 10 million records and played sold-out arena tours. At age 12, she played Young Cosette in a production of Les Miserables and later sang “On My Own” in the documentary The Passions of Girls Aloud from the stage of the Queens Theatre.
Holden, the popular judge of Britain’s Got Talent, is the mother of a five-year-old daughter with her husband, Chris Hughes. She suffered a stillborn birth in February 2011 when seven months pregnant and had a second miscarriage in 2010.
Shrek the Musical, the story of a swamp-dwelling ogre who embarks on a life-changing adventure, also stars Nigel Lindsay as Shrek, Richard Blackwood as Donkey and Nigel Harman as Lord Farquaad. The London production began performances on May 6 and opened on June 14, directed by Jason Moore and Rob Ashford.