It has been announced that Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The Sound of Music, will be broadcast on ITV this Christmas in a special live performance starring Kara Tointon as Maria.
Along with the already-announced Julian Ovenden in the role of Captain von Trapp, further casting news confirmed that Katherine Kelly will play Baroness Elsa Schraeder alongside Alexander Armstrong as Max Detweiler.
It follows the live production NBC aired in the US in 2013, which starred Carrie Underwood as Maria and Stephen Moyer as Captain von Trapp.
The Sound of Music is based on the real life story of the von Trapp family and premiered on Broadway in 1959, inspiring the 1965 film musical starring Julie Andrews. It features a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, and includes such classic songs as ‘How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?’, ‘Edelweiss’, ‘My Favourite Things’, ‘Do-Re-Mi’, ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’, and of course, ‘The Sound of Music’.
Kara Tointon made her name playing Dawn Swann in BBC soap opera EastEnders, and won Strictly Come Dancing in 2010. Her professional stage debut was as Brigatta in a production of The Sound of Music at the Cliffs Pavilion and she has gone on to appear in numerous West End productions, including starring as Eliza Doolittle opposite Rupert Everett in Pygmalion at the Garrick Theatre in 2011.
Downton Abbey star Julian Ovenden is a trained opera singer whose musical theatre credits include Show Boat, My Night with Reg and Merrily We Roll Along. He also originated the role of J.M. Barrie in the musical adaption of Finding Neverland, which premiered at the Leicester Curve in 2012.
Mr Selfridge and Coronation Street star Katherine Kelly is also an established stage actress who has worked with Chichester Festival Theatre, National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and in the West End. Her stage credits include She Stoops to Conquer at the National Theatre and Othello at the Royal Exchange Theatre.
Alexander Armstrong is an actor and comedian, best known as one half of the comedy duo Armstrong and Miller with Ben Miller. He is also a classically trained singer and will make his musical theatre debut in The Sound of Music.
ITV director of comedy and entertainment Elaine Bedell said: “This is the first time in the UK that this type of project has been attempted, a musical drama both performed and broadcast live. We’ve assembled some of the very best talent both in front of and behind the camera, and I can’t wait to see it all come together.”
The Sound of Music Live! will be filmed live at Three Mills Studio, London over Christmas. It is being produced by ITV Studios along with executive producers Andre Ptaszynski, Lee Connelly and Fiona Clark, and also includes Coky Giedroyc as creative director and Richard Valentine as television director. Musical supervision is by Martin Koch.