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Aoife cast as alternate Maria

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#11 armadillo


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Posted 21 March 2007 - 10:04 AM

I'm still interested to hear what people think should be done given what seems to be an error of judgement on the producers' part (or just an ill-timed sickness).  Do you really think they should cancel performances? If not that, why is this solution such a terrible one? Or that Connie should have been sacked?

How do you know they haven't offered the role to the 'girl' who came second? Not that there's any particular reason why they should - theatre isn't an equal opportunities business.  But Aoife is the obvious choice since she, out of all of them, has WE experience in a leading role.  Did she actually audition? I assumed the reference was to the tv  show rather than to a separate audition.

But it will be interesting to see if this changes the way they do the Joseph and Grease programmes.

#12 Blue


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Posted 21 March 2007 - 12:28 PM

It is a shame for the people who have already booked because they wanted to see Connie perform and I am assuming that the company will offer to exchange tickets.

But for the sake of the show it's a good move. I hate going back to the see the same show again and again unless things change. So I'm looking forward to seeing somebody new in the lead role.

#13 Charlotte


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Posted 21 March 2007 - 02:14 PM

im not sure about this decision. i wasnt a fan of her on HDYSAPLM but im sure she will do a good job. Ironic how she has ended up doing the role aswell though!!

#14 Biddy


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Posted 21 March 2007 - 03:55 PM

QUOTE(wickedgrin @ Mar 21 2007, 09:46 AM) View Post
Apparently Aoife came 4th in the competion - why not offer the role to the girl who came second then? Apparently Aoife had to audtion for the role anyway

I'm hoping this casting might mean that 2nd placed Helena Blackman has landed another role soon to be announced.
Since the TV series, Helena's already played Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz [Leicester Haymarket Christmassy Show],
& reached the final of the BBC Radio 2 Voice of Musical Theatre 2006,
& played Gypsy in Gypsy,
& performed in 2 or 3 other Concerts at the Cardiff International Festival of Musical Theatre.

Re Aoife:

Like Julie Andrews, Aoife's blonde (or at least she was blonde on the Maria TV show - I think the ONLY blonde in the final 10).

Several non-frequent-theatregoers with whom I watched one of the tv Maria shows seemed swayed by Aoife's APPEARANCE -
as if they couldn't imagine Maria being played by a non-blonde!

We frequent theatregoers know that if a blonde was essential for the role, ANY of the girls could don a blonde WIG!

However, I'm pleased to read that Andrew Lloyd Webber said:
I [...] welcome Aoife, who gave a sensational audition

Aoife has a Music degree, as well as an MA in Acting and Musical Theatre -
and I seem to remember (although we were shown very little on the programme) her Acting seemed impressive.

She has experienced being taught by Nuns;
as a child she played Brigitta;
& her biog for the TV series said she "teaches singing with Stagecoach for 6-16 year olds most weekends".

#15 Epcot99


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Posted 21 March 2007 - 05:26 PM

I don't know about anyone else but I'm really pleased with this news........

If anyone's seen Chicago recently they would know that Aoife has done a fantastic job as Roxie, one of the best in my opinion.  

I'm really looking forward to seeing what she can bring to the role of Maria, so yep I'll be going on a Monday night sometime soon!..........

I don't think Connie should have been allowed to do all 8 shows in the first place as its too much.  However if they had limited time before the run started and Emma pulled out, I spose they thought it was the right thing to do........

If they'd have stuck with the initial "alternate" thing from the start no one would be complaining about who they saw..........

#16 Belle


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Posted 22 March 2007 - 04:03 PM

I was under the impression that Emma Williams pulled out BECAUSE they decided to do away with having an Alternate?  I find the whole thing hilarious, and quite a slap for over-confident Connie.  I was only interested in seeing the show if Emma Williams was to be playing Maria as I don't particularly care for Sound of Music.

#17 emkay


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Posted 22 March 2007 - 05:25 PM

QUOTE(Belle @ Mar 22 2007, 11:03 AM) View Post
I was under the impression that Emma Williams pulled out BECAUSE they decided to do away with having an Alternate?  I find the whole thing hilarious, and quite a slap for over-confident Connie.

Let's give Connie a little bit of a break, here.  She is very young (23), and was eager to show what she can do.  I don't see anything wrong with her wanting to do the eight shows.  Perhaps it was too much too soon, but she did do the show consistently for several months before the illness.  Perhaps the working too hard helped escalate the illness, but again, she's young and this is her first West End role, and it's a lead.  I think it's probably better to cut back for a while, but six shows a week is  relatively common for lead performers now.  I wish her and Aoife all the best.

#18 wombat



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Posted 23 March 2007 - 12:56 AM

You're all missing the point.  From what I am lead to believe Connie has a vocal strain injury and this can happen to any performer at any time regardless of their level of west end theatre experience.  Her mistake was to try to sing through a cold to not let her audience down.  It's great that Aoife is being rewarded for a great audition, but don't write Connie off yet.  She should in no way be sacked - if she takes proper care of her voice in the future she should be back to full vocal health soon.  8 performances is a lot to ask anyone to do and the producers should have been stronger initially.

#19 emkay


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Posted 23 March 2007 - 04:31 PM

I agree with you 100%, wombat.  I hope I didn't come across otherwise in my post, because that was not my intention.  I think Connie is going to be fine, and I wish all the best for her.  I was defending her, because I think some on this board have been too hard on her.

#20 samo



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Posted 23 March 2007 - 06:00 PM

It's not fair to blame Connie, blame producers/ creative team (RUG & LN) if anyone for letting Connie go ahead and do an 8 show week, its too much for any West End leading lady, especially one so young and (relatively) inexperienced at doing Long Running (west-end) shows.


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