Andrew Lloyd Webber has been looking for just the right actress to play Maria in a new stage version of The Sound of Music for over four years now. Searching high and low, hither and thither (even offering the role to Scarlett Johansson – a brilliant piece of casting - who sadly turned it down) the “theatre impresario” is in talks to turn up the search for his leading lady with one of the most effective talent finding tools of this modern age.
Yep, you got it. Reality TV.
“Lord Lloyd Webber has struck a deal with the BBC,” reports the Guardian, “for a Popstars-style talent show to find an unknown singer to play the lead in his new stage version of The Sound of Music due to open at the London Palladium next autumn.”
And the title? Wait for it. Wait for it… How do you solve a problem like Maria? Jumping Julie Andrews! How could a show with a name this clever possibly fail?
His lordship agrees:
"We think this could be an interesting way of casting someone who is not known yet but who has enormous talent," he told the Sunday Times (obviously having never seen a single minute of X Factor or - *shudders* - Fame Academy.)
Well, we think this could be another cringe-inducing car crash of a television series, made oh-so-watchable by the hoards of desperate wannabes dressed as nuns warbling off key in front of a weeping, and by this time completely destitute, Lloyd Webber.
Now, that’s entertainment!