Corrie villain enjoys a sweet Sound of Music

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on villains. Sorry, kittens.

Friday, 1st July 2016, 11:17 am
Updated Friday, 1st July 2016, 12:22 pm
Scenes from Sound of Music

The Sound of Music marks a welcome change of form for former Coronation Street bad guy Frank Foster - as his real life persona Andrew Lancel takes on one of the most iconic roles in musical theatre: Captain von Trapp.

The Sound of Music plays the Opera House from Tuesday July 5 to Saturday July 9 and promises to pack one of Britain’s biggest theatres.

For Lucy O’Byrne who plays one of the best loved heroines in musical history Maria Rainer (and later Von Trapp, of course) it’s a chance to join the von Trapped after a host of roles building up to the big one.

Scenes from Sound of Music

Fans of TV’s The Voice will recall her as the one that got away last year - the runner up who was quickly snapped up by a record label and released her first album, aptly named Debut.

Not bad for 23 year old whose range spans classic opera through to contemporary favourites and now ... Maria.

Lucy’s now winning great reviews in Sound of Music and her leading man Lancel from Liverpool is no slouch vocally either with a far heftier backlog of theatre and TV and film credits than that stint on the Corrie cobbles might at first sight indicate. All that and he’s one of Britain’s best known Evertonians bar the boss who’s bringing the tour to Blackpool Bill Kenwright but try not to hold that against them.

Lucy’s background is in musical theatre. “My dad was a musical theatre performer, and is still a singer, my mum was a dancer, choreographer and director and my sister is an actress as well so I grew up doing musicals.”

Lucy O'Byrne as Maria

She admits: “The people from Bill Kenwright contacted my agent and my theatrical agent pretty much as soon as The Voice ended, and there was a lot to learn and to do. I had three rounds of auditions and I was really put through my paces! They knew I could sing but they had to make sure they could trust me to take the pressure because Maria really is the centre of the whole story and carries a lot of it so they tested me a lot.

“It was good fun and an interesting process and really nice to meet the people at Kenwrights and to meet Bill himself who was lovely.”

She’s not fazed by the thought of following in some pretty distinguished footsteps but admits: “I’m not going to lie, I did a cry a little bit when I was offered the part.

“My London house mate already had two or three framed pictures of Julie Andrews and one of them was the original Sound of Music poster so when I got the news we both had a little bit of a moment in the kitchen when I got the phone call.

Scenes from Sound of Music

“I knew all the songs although I did have to learn Lonely Goatherd for the auditions because although I knew it I’d never learned to yodel before!”

As for what Blackpool may expect?

“So many people have their own idea of who Maria should be, but I just want to make it my own - and this is my first major tour too.“

The Sound of Music is based on Baroness Maria von Trapp’s 1949 autobiography, and the lavish new staging tells the story of the now world-famous singing family, from their romantic beginnings and search for happiness, to their thrilling escape to freedom as their beloved Austria becomes part of the Third Reich at the start of the Second World War.

Lucy O'Byrne as Maria

The unforgettable score features some of the most memorable songs ever performed on stage, including ‘Edelweiss’, ‘My Favorite Things’, ‘Do-Re-Mi’, ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’, and of course, the title song - ‘The Sound of Music’.

This new production of the classic stage musical coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the film version - the best loved and most successful movie musical in history.