Since it was announced that he would be departing the ITV serial opera after 17 years, Emmerdale star Matthew Wolfenden has landed his first role.
The actor, whose impending departure from the role of David Metcalfe was revealed last month, will make a stage comeback later this year to play Buddy in the musical version of ELF.
Beginning on November 15 and continuing until January 6, 2024, Wolfenden will make his stage debut at London’s Dominion Theatre.
The “funny and charming” story of Buddy, an infant who mistakenly slips into Santa’s sack of presents and is raised as an elf in the North Pole, is told in the musical, which made its Broadway debut in 2010.
The official summary continues, “Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s massive size and terrible toy-making skills finally compel him to face the truth and realize he’ll never belong in the North Pole.
“Buddy sets out on a voyage to New York with Santa’s approval to find his birth father, learn who he really is, and assist New York in keeping the genuine spirit of Christmas alive.
Tom Chambers, who has been in a number of soap operas over the years, including Father Brown, Holby City, Casualty, and Waterloo Road, will return to the role of Buddy Hobbs’ father Walter Hobbs from the 2022 season.
Besides Nicholas Pound, who plays Santa, Rebecca Lock, who plays Walter’s wife Emily, Kim Ismay, who plays Debs, and Georgina Castle, who plays Buddy’s love interest Jovie, there are also Dermot Canavan and Rebecca Lock in the cast.
Wolfenden, who has already starred in a number of musicals like Sex, Chips and Rock ‘n’ Roll, Aladdin, and Saturday Night Fever, now has another theater credit with ELF.