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Sophie Alternates with Danielle in Ruby Slippers

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Over the Rainbow runner up Sophie Evans is to join competition winner Danielle Hope in the cast of The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium early next year.

Sophie will play the role of Dorothy every Tuesday evening starting 8 March 2011, and throughout the weeks Hope is away (weeks beginning 2 May, 5 September and 12 September 2011).

Fans of the Andrew Lloyd Webber TV talent show will now get the chance to see both their first and second choices for Dorothy when The Wizard of Oz opens on 1 March 2011 (previews from 7 February). Evans, who is from Tonypandy, Rhondda in Wales, also starts at the Arts Educational School in September, on a year-long musical theatre training course being funded by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Over the Rainbow followed the formula of How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, Any Dream Will Do and I’d Do Anything - which found Connie Fisher, Lee Mead and Jodie Prenger for West End productions of The Sound of Music, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Oliver!

Other contestants of the show, which crowned Danielle Hope as the public's most popular Dorothy at the end of May, included Stephanie Fearon who is currently appearing in Smokey Joe's Cafe and Lauren Samuels who is set to star as Sandy in the West End production of Grease from 26 July 2010 (See News 29 June 2010).

L Frank Baum wrote the first 1903 stage version of his 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The story is best known from the 1939 Hollywood film. The stage musical version, adapted by John Kane from the Warner Bros movie, was premiered by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican in 1987, with a young Imelda Staunton as Dorothy. It has music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and EY Harburg. It just had a major London outing at the Royal Festival Hall in summer 2008, when Sian Brooke played Dorothy in a cast that also featured Gary Wilmot, Adam Cooper and Roy Hudd.


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