Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Summer Arts Diary

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Summer Arts Diary

Article excerpt

* How do you solve a problem like Maria? Quite easily, if you are Andrew Lloyd Webber: you cast a well-established actress in the role for your revival of The Sound of Music, and then get reams of free advance publicity from a BBC1 programme that is "looking" for your "unknown star".

* Emma Williams, who has years of experience in musical theatre, will play the part "a number of times a week" if the winner of the reality show isn't up to it. "It's a bit unfair for people who come to see the girl off the telly and don't get her, but Emma will be better than anyone they find and certainly have more stamina," says my man in the nun's habit. "The TV show was little more than a publicity stunt."

Oh yes, and the veteran warbler Lesley Garrett has been cast as the Mother Abbess. The hills are alive with the sound of a stitch-up.

* Watch out, Ma'am. Stephen Frears's The Queen, which dissects behind-the-scenes goings-on between the government and the royal family after Diana's death, is due for release next month, and there is already quite serious talk in Hollywood of an Oscar for Helen Mirren, who plays Her Maj. …

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