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27 November 2014
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How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? 
Belinda Evans

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? finalists



Belinda Evans, 28


From Somerset
Occupation Singer/voice coach
Family Two older sisters Denise and Michele, and younger brother Tom.
Experience Masters degree in Music from the Welsh College of Music and Drama, professional singer recitals and television performances, part-time vocal coach.

 

Belinda has worked as a singer for the last four years as a freelance musician and voice teacher. She has recently completed a film as a chorus member in Kenneth Branagh's new adaptation of The Magic Flute.

 

She originally wanted to be a vet but started winning singing competitions and realised that was where her career lay.

 

Last year Belinda spent five months touring the UK and Ireland with a Gilbert and Sullivan Show. And two weeks before moving to the Maria house Belinda sang a solo for The Queen.

 

She has also sang the National Anthem at the Rugby World Cup in Australia.

 

Belinda's whole family are really supportive of her career - they keep her grounded and pick her up when she needs it.

 

Belinda knows the importance of being fit to take on a leading lady role - she runs three miles every day and loves swimming.

 

When did you first realise you had a talent for singing?

 

I never realised, my Mum and my primary teacher pushed for me to have singing lessons, aged 10.

 

What is your favourite musical?

 

West Side Story.

 

Who is your favourite character in a musical and why?

 

Any animal in the Lion King! Looks really fun!

 

What qualities do you have similar to those of Maria?

 

I'm a bit mad, erratic, spontaneous and love to sing and dance!

 

Why should you be the next Maria?

 

Because I've seen something I want in the role of Maria that excites, challenges and inspires me. I like to see things out to the end and I'm very determined when there's something I want.

 

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? 
Connie Fisher

Connie Fisher, 23

From Pembrokeshire, Wales but now lives in London
Occupation Telesales and acting
Family Only child
Experience Mountview Theatre School, 1st BA Hons Musical Theatre

 

Born in Belfast, Connie is an only child and an Officers' daughter. She lived in Dorset until the age of six when she moved to Wales. Connie works in Media Sales in a call centre and hates it!

 

A Welsh speaker, she has appeared in many an Eisteddfod [annual Welsh cultural event] when she was younger.

 

Connie was classically trained from the age of 12, and then won a full scholarship to Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.

 

She left with a first-class degree and won a prize for the highest degree.

 

She was a member of the National Youth Theatre during her teen years (she even toured Japan!), and appeared on Jane McDonald's Star for a Night when she was 16.

 

Connie's first professional job was playing the Princess in Aladdin in a local panto. Since then she's been to countless West End auditions, always getting down to the final two but never getting the part!

 

Her musical theatre heroes are Julie Andrews and Ruthie Henshall but she also likes to listen to KT Tunstall, Carole King and Snow Patrol.

 

Although Connie claims her hobbies are singing, singing and singing, she also enjoys going to the theatre. She runs to keep fit, but doesn't enjoy it!

 

When did you first realise you had a talent for singing?

 

When I was eight years old my Nanna Dot taught me Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam. She noticed I could sing, and so she taught me Supercalafragilisticexpialidocious and Following your Father's Footsteps for a community show.

 

What is your favourite musical?

 

My favourite musical film is Mary Poppins or The Sound of Music. My favourite modern musical is Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World or Avenue Q.

 

Who is your favourite character in a musical and why?

 

My favourite character in a musical has to be Mary Poppins. She's elegant, organised, enchanting and magical.

 

What qualities do you have similar to those of Maria?

 

I'm a bit of a tomboy (the short hair), I'm a flibbertigibbet, a will o' the wisp, a clown. I've always been a bit scatty!

 

Just as Maria is always late back to the convent, I'm always late for everything. As an only child, I've always been very independent like Maria, and I'm always, always singing.

 

Why should you be the next Maria?

 

I've trained for three years in musical theatre. I know I have the passion, commitment and stamina to perform eight shows a week and have always aspired to play the lead in a West End Show.

 

Audiences have always commented on my Julie Andrews-like qualities both on and off stage, and I can't think of a more suitable role.

 

I have always dreamed of playing Maria, and those dreams are nine people away from becoming a reality!


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