Simon MacCorkindale, best known for his role in hospital soap Casualty, is to join the cast of The Sound Of Music at the London Palladium from 25 August, taking over from Simon Burke as Captain Von Trapp.
MacCorkindale starred as hospital manager Harry Harper in long-running drama Casualty for six years, leaving earlier this year. He had previously enjoyed an extensive television and film career in the UK and US with credits including Poltergeist, Counterstrike, Falcon Crest, Manimal, Death On The Nile and Quatermass. Also a producer, director and stage actor, MacCorkindale has directed at the National and in the West End and last appeared on stage in a national tour of Agatha Christie whodunit The Unexpected Guest in 2007.
In The Sound Of Music, MacCorkindale plays widowed father Captain Von Trapp, who employs nun-turned-nanny Maria to be governess to his seven unruly children in his Austrian home. As well as taming the kids, tomboyish Maria melts the heart of the frosty Captain, but their domestic idyll is threatened by the rise of the Nazi party and the onset of war.
MacCorkindale joins a cast that includes Summer Strallen, who has been playing the part of Maria since March 2008, when she took over from Connie Fisher. While Fisher was cast through BBC reality television show How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, Strallen’s arrival in the musical was also influenced by television, as a storyline on C4 soap Hollyoaks saw her character, Summer Shaw, cast in the famous role before Strallen took to the Palladium stage in reality.
The cast also includes Margaret Preece as Mother Abbess, Fiona Sinnott as the Baroness and Paul Grunert as Max. Also on 25 August, Rebecca Luice takes over as the eldest Von Trapp child Liesl and Nadim Naaman joins the cast as Rolf.
This production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound Of Music, directed by Jeremy Sams, opened at the London Palladium in November 2006. The first show to use television casting, it paved the way for subsequent productions of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Grease and the forthcoming Oliver!, all of which have cast major roles through television programmes.