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24 September 2014
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How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?  
Graham Norton and Andrew Lloyd Webber

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?

Graham Norton

The genial host


Fresh from getting the nation on the dance-floor again with the second series of Strictly Dance Fever, Graham Norton takes up the role of host and impresario as he guides the viewers through the auditions and into the live weekly shows.


Throughout the auditions process, Graham has been there to mop the brows, be a shoulder to cry on and do some serious handholding as thousands of girls were whittled down to ten finalists.


The fewer the girls, the tighter the competition and the higher the emotions ran and Graham has seen the hopes, fear, excitement, elation, the tantrums and the tears.


He has met their mums, comforted their families, held their hands and mixed with the theatrical elite – and gives the viewers his own unique take on the proceedings.


Graham will guide the potential Marias, Andrew Lloyd Webber, the critics and the viewers to the finale where only one hopeful will take a final bow.


Andrew Lloyd Webber

Composer, producer, talent scout...


As legendary composer and theatre producer, Andrew's status as one of leading names in international theatre needs no explanation.


As composer, his musical productions have included Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats, Starlight Express, The Phantom of the Opera, Aspects of Love, The Beautiful Game, Sunset Boulevard and The Woman in White amongst many more.


His songs have enchanted and entertained people across generations. He has produced his own work and other award-winning plays in the West End and on Broadway and in 2002 presented the groundbreaking A R Rahman musical Bombay Dreams.


His work has extended into film where he has composed the scores for classic movies such as The Odessa File and, more recently in 2004, he produced a film version of The Phantom of the Opera directed by Joel Schumacher.


With Evita back on the West End and a unique version of Phantom opening in Las Vegas, Andrew has shown that his passion for musical theatre is still shared by many across the world.


He also owns several London theatres including the Palace and the London Palladium and his awards include seven Tonys, three Grammys, six Oliviers, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, and an International Emmy.


He was knighted in 1992 and created an honorary life peer in 1997.


However, it is Andrew's search for new undiscovered talent that has remained a constant throughout his distinguished 40 year career.


He has always viewed the finding and nurturing of new talent as an important factor in the ever evolving and much loved world of musical theatre and this has been shown in many of his West End productions.


His casting has proved at times surprising and risk-taking but always successful whether it be discovering an unknown Sarah Brightman, casting an entire company of unknown performers for the groundbreaking Bombay Dreams, plucking Shonagh Daly from obscurity after spotting her at an open audition for The Beautiful Game in Cork or more recently, in his latest revival of his own classic Evita, bringing the mesmerising Elena Roger as Eva Peron to the UK audience.


His continuing search for new talent has given the West End and the world some memorable and brilliant performances.


Now Andrew hands the casting baton firmly over to the public – he wants the nation to pick the Maria they want.


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