Julie-Alanah Brighten (pictured) will fill in for Denise Van Outen, who's taking a three-week break from Tell Me on a Sunday, the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black one-woman musical which was specially rewritten for her.

Brighten will headline the show at the West End's Gielgud Theatre from 1 to 20 September 2003, with Van Outen returning on 22 September, after which Brighten will remain to perform Thursday matinees. In addition, there will be no performances at all during the week from 25 to 30 August 2003.

Originally written as a song cycle for Marti Webb in 1979, Tell Me on a Sunday was revamped and expanded, with new additional material penned by Jackie Clune. The one-woman musical, directed by Matthew Warchus, opened at the West End's Gielgud Theatre on 15 April 2003 (previews from 4 April). Last month, it announced an extension of five months, taking bookings up to 10 January 2004 (See News, 21 Jul 2003).

The story centres around an English girl who moves to New York and has various relationships with American men. Formerly best known as the presenter of such television programmes as The Big Breakfast and Something for the Weekend, Van Outen wowed critics when she played murderess Roxie Hart in the West End production Chicago, a role she reprised on Broadway.

Brighten is a West End stalwart whose previous credits include The Full Monty, La Cava, Oliver! and Disney's Beauty and the Beast in the West End, as well as major tours of Rebecca and Me and My Girl, opposite Gary Wilmot.

- by Terri Paddock