A week after opening and with a reported £15 million already taken at the box office (See Review Round-up, 16 Nov 2006), Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of The Sound of Music has extended its run at the London Palladium by six months. Opened on 15 November 2006 (previews from 3 November), it had initially been booking until 14 April 2007 and is now taking bookings through to 13 October 2007.

In the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? winner Connie Fisher plays nun-turned-nanny Maria opposite Alexander Hanson, who replaced Simon Shepherd as Captain Von Trapp (See News, 6 Nov 2006). The production also stars soprano Lesley Garrett as the Mother Abbess, Lauren Ward as the Baroness, Ian Gelder as Max, Sophie Bould as Liesl and Neil McDermott as Rolf, as well as three teams of children.

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. The new West End revival is 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. It’s presented by Lloyd Webber and David Ian, the Really Useful Group and Live Nation.

Meanwhile, Motown compilation musical Dancing in the Streets will be performing its limited season Christmas version of the show from 4 to 30 December 2006 at the West End’s Playhouse Theatre, where it has extended its run to 15 September 2007. (It was previously booking to 6 January 2007). The Christmas edition of the musical was launched last year (See News, 28 Sep 2005), and includes festive classics such as White Christmas and Silent Night alongside the usual line-up of popular Motown hits.

Dancing in the Streets opened on 19 July 2005 (previews from 7 July) at the Cambridge Theatre and moved to the Playhouse to make way for Chicago on 1 August 2006, following a 12-week temporary stay at the Aldwych Theatre (See News, 20 Jun 2006). The show is directed by Keith Strachan, with choreography by Carole Todd, and is produced by Flying Music.

The current cast features Sharn Adela, James Bellamy, Courtney Buchanan, Ryan Chandler, Robert Grose, Divine Harrison, Adrian Hansel, Paul Hazel, Siam Hurlock, Paula Kay, Janet Kumah, Chris Murrell, Donna Odain, Ray Shell and Mark Vincent.

- by Caroline Ansdell