‘Doctor Who’ star hits Broadway: The mysterious appearance of Arthur Darvill in ‘Once’

It all began with a mysterious picture:


And that was all it took to send Once fans and Whovians (Doctor Who fans) alike into a frenzy of excitement.

Arthur Darvill as Mephistopheles in "Doctor Faustus."

Arthur Darvill as Mephistopheles in “Doctor Faustus.”

Doctor Who alum Arthur Darvill, who played the charismatic but devilish Mephistopheles in a production of Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus in 2011 at the Globe stage and Parry in Our Boys at the West End’s Duchess Theatre in 2012, made his Broadway debut Friday, April 19.

The role?  None other than Guy in Once, a position left open by Steve Kazee’s departure in early February.  While the role has since been filled by understudy Ben Hope, it is rumoured that Darvill is signed on through December as part of an exchange program between American and UK Equity.

What makes this whole affair almost as strange as an episode of Doctor Who is that no one knew about it.

Before the appearance of the picture, no one had any idea that he had been cast, let alone that he was going to be taking Kazee’s place.  So the question hovering in everyone’s mind is why?  Why wasn’t it announced beforehand and why hasn’t it been acknowledged yet? Not even members of the Once production team have released a comment.

Why is it that the first word of the news came from tumblr, twitter and the Broadway World message boards?

Whatever the answer, the fact is that Arthur Darvill may be here to stay. At least for a little while.

While some are calling the casting “interesting” or “not what they had expected,” others are running a range from extreme excitement (and certainly most of the Doctor Who fans fall into this category) to skepticism.  Certainly Steve Kazee is a difficult actor to follow and with Darvill’s somewhat offbeat brand of good looks and very different vocal quality it will be interesting to see how fans, both new and old react to his portrayal.

What do you think of Darvill joining the cast of Once? Let me know in comments!

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2 Responses

  1. I saw him in Once, and he was fantastic. His voice and his acting really brought the role of Guy to life.

  2. From what I’ve heard, he’s going to be in the show until December. I’ve also heard that Laura is not going to be playing ‘Girl’ anymore which is sad. Both Ben and Laura, who I saw two weeks ago, were incredible.

    But I’m excited to see what Arthur can do. Nobody can doubt his acting ability and from the audios that I’ve heard, he can definitely sing the part. I already have plans to go see the show again