Entertainment & Arts

Ronan Keating to make West End debut in Once

Ronan Keating Image copyright PA
Image caption Keating recently provided the singing voice for Postman Pat in the film of the same name

Singer Ronan Keating will make his West End debut in the award-winning musical Once this November.

The Boyzone and solo artist will play leading man Guy, a busker from Dublin.

Keating described the role as "perfect". "This was my home town, my people, and the place where I began my own music career," he said.

"But as exciting as that is, it's scary too. I've never performed on the West End and this is a huge challenge and commitment."

The show, based on a 2007 film, opened in London in April last year and won two Olivier awards, for best actress in a musical and outstanding achievement in music.

'Bowled over'

The show originally premiered in New York in 2011, transferring to Broadway in 2012 and picking up eight Tony awards, as well as a Grammy for best musical theatre album.

It follows the story of a blossoming romance between a Dublin busker and a young Czech mother.

"I was truly bowled over when I first saw Once," said Keating. "The music and storyline are so incredibly moving and combined with John Tiffany's direction, I believe it's a modern-day masterpiece."

"I'm really looking forward to returning to London later this year and completely sinking my teeth into the role."

The musical is currently playing the Phoenix Theatre in London until July 2015.

Ahead of his West End debut, Keating will return to Australia where he will resume his role as a judge on their version of the X-Factor for the fourth consecutive year.

As part of Boyzone, Keating sold more than 25 million records worldwide. He has gone on to sell 20 million as a solo artist.

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