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Maria’s Dillon debuts in Grease

First Published 17 April 2008, Last Updated 21 April 2008

Siobhan Dillon, who made it into the last three during last year's search for a lead in The Sound Of Music, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, makes her West End debut this summer in Grease. The former student at the London College of Fashion has been cast as the straight-laced cheerleader Patty Simcox, who has a crush on Danny. Grease opens at the Piccadilly on 8 August, following previews from 25 July.

Dillon started singing as a child, but decided that the chances of succeeding in such a competitive business were too small, so turned to studying fashion. Following her success on How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? she has been writing and recording her debut album. It was actually a song from Grease that highlighted Dillon's talent; as a nine-year-old she sang Look At Me I'm Sandra Dee at a concert to raise money for her babysitter to go to drama school. Speaking about her casting, Dillon said she was: "utterly thrilled to be treading the boards at the Piccadilly theatre. It's an absolute dream come true."

Grease producer David Ian, who was a judge on How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? and now judges Grease Is The Word, the search for actors to play Danny and Sandy in Grease, said: "I knew that Siobhan was something special when I first saw her for The Sound Of Music and I am very pleased that she will be joining the cast of Grease."

The search for the new stars of Grease continues on Saturday nights, with four boys and four girls still fighting for the coveted lead roles in one of the world's favourite musicals. em>MA

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