The new show, which will be presented by Swedish broadcaster TV3 in late autumn 2007, follows in the footsteps of other TV casting shows "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" (which sought a Maria for the London revival of The Sound of Music), "Any Dream Will Do" (which found a Joseph for the new London revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) and "Grease: You're the One that I Want" (which cast both a Sandy and a Danny for the upcoming Broadway revival of Grease).
The nine-part live series will begin with open auditions in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo and will culminate in February 2008 with the announcement of the actress who has won the role of Lady of the Lake.
"West End Story," according to press notes, "will see a panel of experts from the world of musical theatre from the West End and Sweden draw up a shortlist of twelve hopefuls from open auditions. Each week one contestant will be voted off until there are four left. The last four will be flown from Stockholm to London to begin rehearsals for the role of Lady of the Lake with the cast of Monty Python's Spamalot, returning once each week to Sweden to face the judges and viewing public in a live TV special."
Sweden, press notes state, is one of the largest markets in Europe for musical theatre. Also, London welcomes over 700,000 Swedish tourists per year, many who see shows in the West End.
Directed by Mike Nichols, Spamalot features a book and lyrics by Eric Idle with a Grammy Award-winning score by Eric Idle and John Du Prez. The musical is "lovingly ripped-off" from the film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. Spamalot began performances at London's Palace Theatre in September 2006. The musical continues to play Broadway's Shubert Theatre. A production opened in Las Vegas earlier this year, and November will see a new production in Melbourne, Australia.