Photos: Andrew Lloyd Webber's reality casting recruits
Date: 18 January 2012
Andrew Lloyd Webber today (18 January 2012) announced that he's embarking on his latest television talent search - this instalment seeking the leading actor for a forthcoming arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar kicking off from The O2.
For full details about Lord Lloyd-Webber's search you can read the Whatsonstage.com story here.
As Lloyd Webber embarks on his fifth reality casting show, this time being broadcast on ITV rather than his home for four iterations, the BBC, Whatsonstage.com are taking the chance to look back at the Lord's previous four winners.
Connie Fisher in How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?. Photo credit: BBC
Andrew Lloyd Webber's first reality casting show, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? crowned winner Connie Fisher back in 2006, with the Mountview graduate going on to star as Maria von Trapp in the London Palladium production of The Sound of Music until February 2008.
Fisher later appeared in the The Sound of Music's national tour and in the Menier Chocolate Factory production of They're Playing Our Song alongside Alistair McGowan. She will shortly be seen leading the Royal Exchange Theatre, Hallé Orchestra and Lowry production of Wonderful Town which tours from the Salford venue in April 2012.
Lee Mead with the cast of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
The second search for a West End star saw 2007 series Any Dream Will Do name Lee Mead the people's "official Joseph". Previously an ensemble member in The Phantom of the Opera, Mead opened in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Adelphi Theatre in July 2007. He continued in the role until January 2009, playing 600 performances.
Following Joseph, Mead toured the in the play Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and went on to appear as Fiyero opposite Rachel Tucker in Wicked from May 2010 to February 2011. Mead then took over the role of Emmett in Legally Blonde from June to October 2011 and has also been seen guest starring on BBC's Casualty.
Jodie Prenger Competing in I'd Do Anything. Photo credit: BBC.
In 2008 Andrew Lloyd Webber set out to cast the role of Nancy for Cameron Mackintosh's Theatre Royal Drury Lane revival of Oliver!, also selecting potential Olivers away from the public vote. Jodie Prenger opened as Nancy in January 2009 having spent a short stint in the ensemble of Les Miserables to gain West End experience.
Prenger played her final performance in March 2010 - having won the Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical - and handed over the role to Kerry Ellis. She has recently been seen as the Lady of the Lake in the Monty Python musical Spamalot, which launched from the New Wimbledon Theatre in May 2010 and continues to tour. She has also filmed television series Candy Cabs, and sits in for Paul O'Grady and Elaine Paige, covering their BBC Radio 2 shows as well as hosting BBC coverage from events such as the 2010 Olivier Awards.
Danielle Hope as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Photo credit: Keith Pattison
The most recent TV talent show winner Danielle Hope landed the leading role in the Lord's new production of The Wizard of Oz winning 2010 competition Over the Rainbow. The 19-year-old from Urmston, Greater Manchester undertook a three-month intensive musical theatre course at Arts Educational School before she opened as Dorothy in March 2011.
Hope recently announced she will leave the production on 5 February 2012, the same as co-star Michael Crawford. There is currently no official news of Hope's next project or who will fill the ruby slippers she will leave vacant at the London Palladium.
- by Andrew Girvan
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