Sound of Music Opens at London Palladium, 5 DecDate: 5 May 2006
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-awaited new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music has confirmed its dates at the West End’s London Palladium, where it will open on 5 December 2006 (previews from 24 November) and will initially be booking until 14 April 2007.
The Sound of Music was one of the best-known musicals by Rodgers and Hammerstein, whose other collaborations included The King and I, Oklahoma and South Pacific. Based on the 1949 book The Von Trapp Family Singers, written by Maria Von Trapp about her real-life experiences as a trainee nun who falls in love with a widowed naval captain and his children in pre-war Austria, The Sound of Music opened in 1959 on Broadway, where it ran for 1,443 performances and won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
The story and its score - including "My Favourite Things", "Do-Re-Mi", " Sixteen Going On Seventeen", "Climb Ev'ry Mountain", "Edelweiss", "So Long, Farewell" and the title song - was immortalised for generations of filmgoers by the 1965 Hollywood version starring Julie Andrews (pictured) and Christopher Plummer. The stage show was revived on Broadway in 1998 while, in recent years, a sing-a-long version of the film has become a cult hit in London and on tour in the UK.
At the 2,300-seat London Palladium, The Sound of Music will be directed by Jeremy Sams - whose credits include Noises Off, Spend Spend Spend, Little Britain Live and the current West End revival of Michael Frayn’s Donkeys’ Years, which opens next week at the Comedy Theatre. Rob Jones will design the new production.
A nationwide search is now underway to find an as-yet undiscovered star to play the lead of nun-turned-nanny Maria, via a BBC One TV reality casting programme, hosted by Graham Norton and entitled How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?. Initial auditions today in Edinburgh are followed this weekend by two days open auditions in Manchester and three days in London (at the Wembley Conference Centre) next Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Successful contestants from the early rounds will undergo training and review with an expert panel – including Lloyd Webber – and will then be voted on by the public when the Saturday night programme is broadcast later this year.
Currently at the Palladium, high-tech song-and-dance spectacular Sinatra, featuring never-before-seen footage of Ol’ Blue Eyes projected onto 24-foot screens, is booking until 7 October 2006. The Sound of Music is produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group and Live Nation’s David Ian.
- by Terri Paddock
NOTE: Public booking has not yet opened for The Sound of Music.