Lloyd Webber Joins Forces with BBC for Sound of Music Casting

News   Lloyd Webber Joins Forces with BBC for Sound of Music Casting
 
Composer and impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber is joining forces with the BBC to find a performer to play the lead role of Maria for his forthcoming production of The Sound of Music.
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber Photo by Aubrey Reuben

A spokesperson for Lord Lloyd Webber said, “Andrew is in the early stages of development talks for an exciting project next year.” If the deal goes ahead, it is thought that the format of the television program will be in the style of the U.K. series “Popstars,” which features fly-on-the-wall coverage of the rehearsal process before the contestants compete on screen.

Although the London Palladium has been mentioned as the most likely theatre for the show, no decision regarding the venue for the autumn 2006 opening has been made.

Lloyd Webber, whose connection with the musical is solely as producer, will not be adding his own compositions to the original Rodgers and Hammerstein score.

In the 1965 Oscar-winning movie, Julie Andrews starred as Maria, a governess to the Von Trapp family in 1938 Austria, just before the outbreak of the Second World War.

The film, which was re-released on DVD this year to celebrate the musical’s 40th anniversary, went on to build one of the most loyal fan bases enjoyed by any movie. There are regular screenings of the film during which “The Sound of Music” fanatics recite every lyric. It is hoped these fans will provide a strong base for the stage version’s box office takings.

News of the collaboration between Lord Lloyd Webber and the BBC arrives as the composer’s The Woman in White celebrates 500 performances in the West End.

Tonight, Nov. 28, David Burt takes over from Simon Callow as Count Fosco. Burt’s many West End credits include Jesus Christ Superstar, Chess, Les Misérables and Cats.

The musical opened on Broadway Nov. 17.

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