Casualty TV star Simon MacCorkindale (pictured) will make his musical debut next month playing Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music at the West End’s London Palladium. From 25 August 2008, he takes over from Simon Burke starring opposite current Maria Summer Strallen.

Best known as Harry Harper in three seasons of Casualty, MacCorkindale’s other film and TV credits include Obsessive Love, Falcon’s Gold, Quartermass, Jesus of Nazareth, Dynasty, Juggernaut and Death on the Nile. On stage, credits include his one-man show The Importance of Being Oscar, Macbeth, A Doll’s House, The Unexpected Guest and Sleuth. He has also directed several productions, including The Dark Lady of the Sonnets at the National and Pygmalion in the West End.

The Sound of Music premiered on Broadway in 1959, when it won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The show first opened in London in 1961 and its last London revival was in 1981, both productions having record-breaking runs. The 1965 Hollywood film, which starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, won five Oscars, including Best Picture.

The current London revival, which won last year’s Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Musical Revival, recently added another four months to its schedule, taking it up to 28 February 2009 at the West End’s London Palladium, where it opened on 15 November 2006 (previews from 3 November). It’s directed by Jeremy Sams and designed by Robert Jones, with choreography by Arlene Phillips, sound by Mick Potter, lighting by Mark Henderson and musical supervision by Simon Lee.

The current cast is led by Summer Strallen as nun-turned-nanny Maria von Trapp, who was ‘discovered’ by producer Andrew Lloyd Webber via a storyline tie-in with ITV teen soap Hollyoaks. The current cast also features Fiona Sinnott (the Baroness), Paul Grunert (Max) and Margaret Preece (Mother Abbess). Rebecca Lucie and Nadim Naaman will take over the roles of Liesl and Rolf on 25 August.

- by Theo Bosanquet