BBC ONE searches for West End star in new Sat night show

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BBC ONE searches for West End star in new Sat night show

Postby daveyboi » Thu Apr 06, 2006 9:20 pm

BBC ONE looks to shine the spotlight on an undiscovered theatre star with a new live Saturday night entertainment show.

In How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? two of theatre's biggest names will open up the world of musical theatre to search the UK for a new talent who will win the opportunity of a lifetime.

Hosted by Graham Norton, the show will feature legendary composer and theatre producer Andrew Lloyd Webber who together with leading West End producer David Ian will be searching for a new talent who will win the role of Maria in the upcoming West End show The Sound of Music.

Through auditions, intensive training, live performances and a public vote, talented hopefuls will try to prove themselves to the experts and the nation and make their dream come true – to be a lead in a West End show.

This is the chance for anyone to try and prove that they have the talent, guts and determination to cut the mustard with the best in the business and go on to tread the boards for real on the West End stage.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's awards include seven Tonys, three Grammys, six Oliviers, a Golden Globe, an International Emmy and an Oscar.

David Ian is one of the most successful current producers in UK theatre whose hits include Guys & Dolls, Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Anything Goes and The Producers.

He also runs more than 50 theatres worldwide.
Andrew Lloyd Webber said: "I have always had a passion for discovering and nurturing new talent and this will be a fantastic opportunity for a young artist to become a real star.
"I'm particularly pleased that, for the first time, the search will be open to everybody.
"Never before have young musical theatre performers had such an opportunity to show their talents on prime-time television."

David Ian said: "As a theatre producer, I know the hard work that goes into musical theatre and how very important it is to keep finding new talent for these starring roles.
"I'm thrilled to be working with the BBC on this national search - we really are looking for someone special."

Open auditions will take place in Belfast, Cardiff, Manchester, Edinburgh and London, where a panel of experts in the fields of music and theatre will whittle the hopefuls down to 50 potential Marias.

These talented individuals will then be put through their paces in singing, acting and dancing by some of the best professionals in the business.

Only ten will make it through to the TV shows where they will undergo constant training and perform live for the panel and, most importantly, the nation.

It is the nation who votes for their favourite to win, and each week the ones with the least votes will perform again for Andrew Lloyd Webber who has the chance to save just one.

Graham Norton: "I'll be there to mop the brows and do some serious handholding as we try and find that star-in-the-making.
"It will be a real rollercoaster for everyone involved. I'm thrilled to be along for the ride."

The winner’s prize is a dream come true – a leading actor contract for the West End stage to play the role of Maria in The Sound of Music, and the opportunity to work with some of the theatre world's biggest names.

Peter Fincham, Controller, BBC ONE, said: "This is a unique and exciting project which will really capture the audience's imaginations.
"The combination of The Sound of Music, some of the biggest names in theatre and a hunt for a new star is irresistible.
"I'm whistling the tunes already."
This series will consist of pre-recorded audition shows, live shows plus live results shows.

A bursary will be set up whereby money from the telephone votes during the series will give hopefuls a chance to learn more about, and get a foothold into, the world of musical theatre.

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How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?

Postby The_Boss » Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:02 am

The BBC ONE show How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, which is looking for a new West End star, is already in full swing whittling down thousands of candidates to just ten lucky hopefuls who will go through to the live TV show later this summer.

A panel of experts in the fields of music and theatre will preside alongside legendary and award-winning composer and theatre producer Andrew Lloyd Webber for the challenge of sifting through many hopefuls to draw out the one with a special star quality who will tread the boards for real in a West End show.

The panel will consist of:

David Ian

A former actor and now the UK's leading theatre producer. David's hit shows include some of the best-loved and most talked about productions of the last 20 years including Guys and Dolls, Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Anything Goes and The Producers to name but a few.

He will be co-producing The Sound of Music with Andrew Lloyd Webber in the West End later this year.

John Barrowman

Star of stage and screen whose stage show CV is an impressive array of musical theatre productions - including Miss Saigon, Evita, Chicago, Hair, Phantom of the Opera, Company, Sunset Boulevard and Beauty and the Beast.

John has also appeared in films (De Lovely, The Producers) and as a TV actor his credits include BBC ONE's Doctor Who, and he will star in BBC THREE's Torchwood later this year.

Zoe Tyler

Zoe is a singer and professional vocal coach whose career has ranged from performing with artists like Rod Stewart, Elton John and Will Young to starring in many stage shows including Fame and Joseph. Zoe is also a seasoned soloist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Thousands of potential 'Marias' auditioned at the five open national heats across the country with only 200 getting though to the London callbacks.

Only ten will go through to the live TV show where the viewers will get the chance to vote for their favourite and only one will win the lead role of Maria in the West End stage show of The Sound of Music which opens later this year.

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? will be hosted by Graham Norton and will air later this summer on BBC ONE.

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