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Mulholland is Maria number two

First Published 17 April 2008, Last Updated 21 April 2008

Following an enforced absence on doctor’s orders after damaging her vocal chords, The Sound Of Music star Connie Fisher will now play only six of the eight shows a week, with former reality rival Aoife Mulholland joining the show to play the other two.

Fisher, who was cast in the part of Maria through the reality TV show How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, has been playing all eight shows a week at the London Palladium since opening in the role in November. Emma Williams, who was originally lined up to play the alternate to Fisher before the show opened, parted company with the production after Fisher expressed a desire to fill the nun’s habit every night.

Fisher, who returned to the show yesterday after a fortnight’s rest, will now not perform on Monday evenings or Wednesday matinees as of 26 March. Understudy Sophie Bould is to fill in for Fisher on those performances in the following fortnight, until Mulholland takes over from Bould on 9 April.

Mulholland was a participant in the reality show that cast Fisher, losing out to her in the semi-final. Since then she has had a taste of West End fame after taking on the role of Roxie Hart in Chicago at the Cambridge, where she remains until 31 March. Mulholland now gets to play the part she ultimately wanted, Maria, for two shows a week.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, who co-produced this production of The Sound Of Music and initiated the search for a star through the unusual process of a TV reality show, commented: “I am thrilled that Connie has returned to the show, fit and well, and welcome Aoife, who gave a sensational audition.”

The Sound Of Music also stars Lesley Garrett as Mother Abbess and Alexander Hanson as Captain Von Trapp. Bould, who has been stepping up to play Maria in Fisher’s absence, to critical acclaim, returns to her regular role as the eldest Von Trapp child. em>CB

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