THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF A RUNNER UP ON THE VOICE TV SHOW ; Lucy O'byrne Fell in Love with the Sound of Music When She Was a Schoolgirl - Now She Is Taking the Lead Role of Maria in the Musical, Made Famous by Julie Andrews

By Walters, Sarah | Manchester Evening News, December 11, 2015 | Go to article overview

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF A RUNNER UP ON THE VOICE TV SHOW ; Lucy O'byrne Fell in Love with the Sound of Music When She Was a Schoolgirl - Now She Is Taking the Lead Role of Maria in the Musical, Made Famous by Julie Andrews


Walters, Sarah, Manchester Evening News


AYEAR ago, Lucy O'Byrne was popping on her usher's uniform and getting ready for a day checking tickets and dishing out interval popcorn at London's Apollo Theatre.

ask her the to A (literal) turn on TV - on talent show The Voice - changed everything.

for She sang, international hip-hop/R&B superstar will.i.am turned his chair, and a few months later she was taking home the runner up crown.

INow, she has bagged her first big stage role - and, she giggles with modest nervousness, it couldn't be much bigger. Dubliner Lucy is taking on the interloper in the von Trapp family: Maria in The Sound Of Music.

She sounds like a girl on an emotional and experiential rollercoaster when we sit down to talk about it. She's in rehearsals in Peterborough, preparing for her opening run at The Lowry - its big festive show, on from December 14 to January 2. After that, she'll visit Edinburgh, Aberdeen, do Stoke, High Wycombe, Birmingham, Blackpool and others. It's one heck of an ask for a 24- year-old cast in her first big production. But the boss has total faith; it's producer Bill Kenwright, after all, who put in the call to get her to audition.

Lucy's personal passion for The Sound Of Music runs deep - to childhood.

"The first time I was introduced to it at all was in school, in music class," she recalls. "I learned music and I remember learning how to sing Climb Ev'ry Mountain.

"At the time, I didn't realise what it was from, but I just fell in love with it and thought it was so beautiful.

"Everyone grows up with Do-Re-Mi, of course, especially if you grow up wanting to be a singer!

"I actually saw the stage show before I saw the movie. Not a touring version, just an amateur production in Ireland. After that I watched the film and I loved it. Julie Andrews can do no wrong in my eyes!" Ah yes, Julie Andrews. The definitive Maria.

Despite the reams written about the real von Trapp family - completed by grieving and proud father Captain Georg von Trapp, plus seven children: Liesl, Friedrich, Louisa, Kurt, Brigitta, Marta, and Gretl - it is Andrews' version of the nun in love that looms large over any production of this Rodgers and Hammerstein great.

"That is something I've battled with," Lucy admits, "probably from the first time I get the phone call. …

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THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF A RUNNER UP ON THE VOICE TV SHOW ; Lucy O'byrne Fell in Love with the Sound of Music When She Was a Schoolgirl - Now She Is Taking the Lead Role of Maria in the Musical, Made Famous by Julie Andrews
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