Summer Strallen, who played the similarly named Summer Shaw on teen soap Hollyoaks, has just made her debut in The Sound of Music at London's Palladium Theatre. If, like us, you enjoy a bit of a Hollyoaks omnibus on a hungover Sunday, you'll be familiar with Summer's journey from soap star to West End star.
For those of you who are Hollyoaks impaired, it's actually all a bit confusing. Strallen joined the Hollyoaks cast in October of last year as posh Summer Shaw, who had a dream of singing on the West End Stage. Summer (the character) then, in a plotline that was also the exit storyline of longtime Hollyoaks character OB, travelled to London to try and meet Andrew Lloyd Webber and snag a part in The Sound of Music. She successfully stalked Lloyd Webber, in a cameo role, and eventually won the part. She then left Hollyoaks. Summer (the actress) debuted as Maria last night. Confused yet?
Strallen got the part in Hollyoaks through a complicated deal between Channel 4 and Andrew Lloyd Webber, which Lloyd Webber hopes will draw more young people to the West End. This Londonista enjoys both West End musicals and teen soaps, but we're not sure if this crazy cross-casting would make us more likely to shell out the cash to actually see a show.
Her debut was well recieved though, and who knows? Maybe this will be a whole new casting trend for musicals. We can't wait to see Dot from Eastenders having the sudden desire to kick up her heels, and then see June Brown appear in Dirty Dancing.
Image courtesy of suziedepingu's Flickr photostream