Shepherd Departs London Sound of Music Revival

News   Shepherd Departs London Sound of Music Revival
Simon Shepherd, who was cast as Captain Von Trapp in the Andrew Lloyd Webber produced revival of The Sound of Music, has withdrawn from the production at the London Palladium after just two preview performances.

Having answered the casting question posed by the reality TV show “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” – answer Connie Fisher - the heavily hyped show has unexpectedly had to address a different issue: How do you solve a problem like Captain Von Trapp?

According to a statement following the first two public performances on Nov. 3 and 4, "Simon Shepherd, director Jeremy Sams, and producers Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Ian agreed that his (Shepherd’s) performance as Captain Von Trapp was not working within the production and therefore he has withdrawn form the show.”

Alexander Hanson will take over the role, starting performances “as soon as possible later this week.” Until then Captain Von Trapp will be played by understudy Christopher Dickins. The statement went on to say that the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical will keep to its schedule and still officially open on Nov. 15.

Hanson recently appeared in the Chichester Festival production of Tonight at 8.30. His other stage credits include the Royal National Theatre’s The Villain’s Opera, Troilus and Cressida, Candide and The Merchant of Venice. His West End musicals include Sunset Boulevard, Aspects of Love and We Will Rock You.

When Hanson steps onto the Palladium's stage, he will join popular soprano Lesley Garrett, who plays Mother Abbess; Ian Gelder who plays Max, Sophie Bould as Liesel; and Neil McDermott who plays Rolf. Choreography is by Arlene Phillips with design by Robert Jones. The Sound of Music originally premiered on Broadway in 1959, winning six Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The 1965 Hollywood film, which starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, won five Oscars, including Best Picture.

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