How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? That's the question on the lips of Graham Norton as he searches for a new Maria Von Trapp for the forthcoming West End production of The Sound of Music.


The brainchild of legendary impressario and composer Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? sets out on the unenviable task of trying to fill the wimple of Julie Andrews. Who could possibly be a nun in training, a governess, a will-o'-the wisp and a singing sensation?





Later this year Andrew Lloyd Webber and theatre producer David Ian's new production of The Sound of Music will be wowing the critics and packing them in. But in a twist, rather than pick their new leading lady themselves, they've decided to let you, the viewer, decide.


In the audition shows we'll see how thousands of potentials are whittled down to just ten finalists. Then each Saturday night our wannabe Marias will perform live for Andrew Lloyd Webber and a panel of three expert critics - David Ian, John Barrowman, leading man and musical theatre stalwart, and Zoe Tyler, a tough vocal coach.


They may not always sing their favourite things, but our would-be Marias will climb ev'ry mountain to achieve their West End dream. A dream that only you can realise, because it's not the judges they really have to impress - this time you have the final say.



Graham Norton - Host


Fresh from getting the nation on the dancefloor 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 audition process, Graham has been there to mop the brows, be a shoulder to cry on and do some serious hand-holding as thousands of girls were whittled down to ten finalists. The fewer the girls, the tighter the competition and the higher the emotions ran. Graham has seen the hopes, fears, excitement, elation, the tantrums and the tears.


He has met their mums, comforted their families 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.


  • David Ian - One of the most successful and prolific producers in British theatre today.


    david ian


  • John Barrowman - Doctor Who's Captain Jack and a leading man of musical theatre.


    John Barrowman 

  • Zoe Tyler - The expert vocal coach, singer and performer.


    Zoe Tyler


What attributes are needed to solve a problem like Maria?


Andrew Lloyd Webber and producer David Ian have firm ideas about what their Maria should be like, but what do you think?


Use the form at the foot of the page to tell us what characteristics Maria should possess. In the meantime here's a selection of Andrew and Ian's thoughts.



I believe that all the productions of The Sound of Music in the past have cast a girl too old. - Andrew Lloyd Webber


She's only got to be funny. She's only got to be able to act. She's only got to be able to sing. It's quite simple... we're just looking for a star, that is all. - Andrew Lloyd Webber



Maria truly for me has got to be someone who has got a real personality. - David Ian


I would hope that when people vote they do realise that they've got to think of the kid too. That she's really got to be able to stand up there and make us really believe that it was worth all this effort. - Andrew Lloyd Webber



There is a tomboy in Maria, there is fun. - David Ian.


We've got to find a Maria who is that much younger, so that the story is that more daring. - Andrew Lloyd Webber.

elisa scaravetto
surely blond (like me, of course). smart, funny, kind, sensual and always smiling. but most of all she must have character and personality

a live wire! fun, enthusiastic, daring, witty and talented.

It is impossible to duplicate Julie Andrews as Maria. Any new Maria should go in a different direction -- sort of like a cross between Mary Tyler Moore (in her younger days) and Brittany Spears (before she was pregnant, again).

She is Gentle she is wild she's a riddle she's a child she's a headache she's an angle she's agirl she's as flighty as a feather she's adarling she's a demon SHE"S LEANNE

I think Maria should be like Siobhan - a little less jolly hocky sticks than Julie Andrews and a lot more sexy!




Andrew Lloyd-Webber





Do you yearn to get into the habit and dress as a nun? Do you have a knack for making play clothes out of curtains? Or maybe you can create an outfit reminiscent of your favourite things or scenes and lyrics from the musical.


If you yearn to be alive with the sound of music, but don't think you've got what it takes to be the next Maria, fear not - the BBC still want you to show them what you're made of.  They want you to send pictures of yourself recreating scenes and characters from The Sound of Music.


The best entries, as judged by the BBC, will then be published on their site. Top marks will go to entries them make us laugh out loud, ones that demonstrate a great deal of originality and flair - especially in the costume department, and for those that are just plain odd.


During the television series you will be given the chance to vote for your favourite entries on the BBC website (see links at top and bottom of this page). At the end of the competition there will be just one picture left standing based on your votes.


The competition winner will then, along with a friend, attend the debut performance of the winning Maria in the West End on 14th November 2006.


Please note, travel and accommodation are not included, winners under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.








How to enter:


You can email the BBC your photos in .jpg format (no more than 4MB in size) to with the subject heading 'competition'. (Read the Beebs Tips on uploading photographs)


Or you can send copies to


MC1 D6
Media Centre
201 Wood Lane
W12 7TQ


Please don't send your precious original photographs because they cannot return them under any circumstances. Please only send copies. Don't forget to include your telephone number when sending your photo by post so we can get back to you if required.




The closing date for the competition is 8th August 2006.

Before submitting your entry, please ensure that:

- you have read the Competition Rules here;
- you have the right to permit the BBC to publish the photograph; and
- as far as possible you have obtained the consent of any person who appears in the photograph.

By submitting an entry you are granting to the BBC the right to use your photo for the purpose of this competition. You retain all copyright in your photo and can continue to use it for any purpose.



Watch choice moments from the first audition show.


From thousands of entries two hundred were summoned to the London recall where Ian, Zoe and John gave their verdict and decided who would be going to Maria School:-








Julie Andrews as Maria










A H Rahman



Alanis Morisette

Alison Kraus

All Saints

American Idol

American Music Awards

Amy Macdonald

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Annie Lennox


Arctic Monkeys

Atomic Kitten

Avril Lavigne - Girlfriend


Band Aid

Backstreet Boys

Babra Streisand

Barry Manilow

Barry White

Bay City Rollers

Beach Boys


Billy Joel

Bing Crosby

Black Sabbath - Ozzy Osbourne


Bob Dylan

Bob Geldof

Bob Marley & Wailers

Bon Jovi

Boney M

Boyz II Men

Brenda Lee

Britney Spears - Shaved

Bruce Springsteen

Bryan Adams

Bucks Fizz

Buddy Holly



Celine Dion

Charles Aznavour

Charlotte Church


Cheeky Girls

Chemical Brothers

Childrens Songs

Christina Aguilera - Basics

Christina Milian

Chuck Berry

Cindy Lauper

Cliff Richard


Comic Relief

David Bowie

Def Leoppard

Depeche Mode

Destiny's Child

Dire Straits

Dixie Chicks

Dolly Parton

Donna Summer

Duran Duran

Earth Wind and Fire

East Magazine - Eastbounre

Eddie Arnold

Elena Paparizou - Eurovision

Elkie Brooks

Elton John

Elvis Presley


Enrique Iglesias


Eurovision Song Contest


Events - Tents - Moroccan


Fleetwood Mac

Flipp's - Pop Funk collection


Frank Sinatra

Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Frankie Laine

Garth Brooks

Gary Numan


George Michael

Geri Halliwell

Girl Bands

Girl Groups

Girls Aloud

Glade alternative music festival


Gloria Estefan

Grace Jones

Grammy Awards

Grant Navy Fireman

Groove Armada

Guns and Roses

Gunther + Sunshine Girls

Gwen Stefani

Haircut 100

Hank Thompson


Her Name in Blood



Iron Maiden

James Blunt

James Morrison

Janet Jackson

Jean Michel Jarre

Jennifer Lopez

Jessica Simpson

Jethro Tull

Jimi Hendrix

Joel White

John Denver

Johnny Cash

Johnny Mathis

Joni James

Joss Stone


Juan Thyme

Julia Figueroa

Julio Iglesias

Justin Timberlake

Karaoke    A - Z of UK venues

Kate Bush

Kate Nash

Katie Melua

Kenny Rogers

Kristina Bradford

Kylie Minogue - cancer

Led Zeppelin

Lily Allen

Linda Ronstadt

Lionel Richie

Live Aid

Live Earth Concerts

Live 8

Louis Walsh

Luciano Pavarotti


Madonna - Films and Video

Mama Hoochie Bang

Mando - Manto

Mariah Carey


Max Jasper - Mezzowave




Michael Bolton

Michael Jackson

Mireille Mathieu

Modern Talking


My Chemical Romance - Networking

Nat King Cole

Natasha Bedingfield

National Anthems

Neil Diamond

Nelly Furtado




Olivia Newton-John

Paris Hilton

Patti Page

Pearl Jam

Perry Como

Peter Waterman

Petition the Prime Minister

Petula Clarke

Phil Collins


Pink - Pink Orchid Ltd

Pink Floyd

Pop Idol

Pop Music



Reading Music Festival

Record Companies

Record Producers

Ricky Nelson


Robbie Williams

Rod Stewart


Roxy Music

Rule Britannia



Shania Twain

Sharon Osbourne

Simon Cowell

Simply Red

Snoop Dog


Spice Girls

Stars in Their Eyes


Stevie Wonder

Sting - The Police

Stock Aitken Waterman SAW


Terry Wogan

The Bangles

The Beatles

The Bee Gees

The Brit Awards

The Carpenters

The Clash

The Doobie Brothers

The Doors

The Eagles

The Jacksons

The Pussycat Dolls

The Ramones

The Rolling Stones

The Royal Canadians

The Seekers

The Sunshine Girls

The Ventures

The Who

The X Factor

The X Factor 2005

The X Factor 2006

Three Dog Night


Tina Turner





USA For Africa

Van Halen

Vibes From the Vine - Concert 06

Vicky Leandros

Victoria Beckham

VW tour bus - Sunshine Girls

Wei Wei

Whitney Houston

Wicked New Year Party - Alps 07


World Idol

X Factor Battle of Stars

ZZ Top





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