How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?

UKTV – Thursdays from 21 January, 7.30pm

BBC is shining the spotlight on the world of musical theatre with a UK search for a new West End Star, but with a twist – the role is for real; the show is for real; absolutely anyone can try for the part; but this time the public is the casting director.

Graham Norton is the master of ceremonies in a brand new live show that is giving one lucky wannabe the chance of a lifetime – to win a professional lead role in a West End musical.

Legendary composer and producer Andrew Lloyd Webber and prolific theatre producer David Ian are bringing The Sound of Music – one of the most loved and known musicals of the past 50 years – back to London’s West End Stage and they are looking for a new ‘Maria von Trapp’. The role, made famous and iconic by Julie Andrews in the 1965 movie, will be a coveted one but this time the lord of the theatre and a panel of experts in the fields of music and theatre have relinquished their powers and given the decision to the UK public.

Who could take on such a famous role and make it their own? Who has the drive, guts and sheer determination to cut the mustard and win a six month standard leading role contract on the West End stage?

Thousands of potential Marias will be whittled down to just ten finalists who will then perform live each week for Andrew Lloyd Webber and a panel of three expert critics – including David Ian, one of the biggest theatre producers in the UK, John Barrowman, leading man and musical theatre stalwart, and Zoe Tyler, a tough vocal coach. But most importantly they will perform in front of the nation, and it is the viewers who will vote each week for the person they want to see play Maria. This time the professionals don’t get the casting vote – only the viewers can decide.