Verity solves a problem like Maria

DREAM ROLE: Verity Rushworth plays Maria Von Trapp in The Sound of Music.

DREAM ROLE: Verity Rushworth plays Maria Von Trapp in The Sound of Music.

First published in On stage by

When it was announced that Hayscastle's Connie Fisher had to withdraw from the role of Maria Von Trapp in The Sound of Music at the Wales Millennium Centre, there will have undoubtedly been some fans who were disappointed.

However, Verity Rushworth, who has stepped into the role, is keen to reassure fans that they will enjoy a great night at the theatre.

Speaking to the Western Telegraph, Verity said: "I have my own version of Maria, and I really hope people will enjoy the show, because it is such a good show. You will leave smiling.

Verity, who previously played Donna Windsor-Dingle in Emmerdale and Penny Pingleton in the West End version of Hairspray, is clearly enjoying playing Maria in this tour.

"I still can't quite believe I am playing the role. It's amazing, it's like a dream come true. I'm a huge fan of the film and Julie Andrews."

Verity has won standing ovations for her performances - but it's not the first time she's been in the Sound of Music.

"Yes, I did a production when I was nine in Leeds and I played Brigitta, so it's nice to be coming back as Maria, it's like coming full circle," she says.

Verity's co-star at the Wales Millennium Centre is Jason Donovan, who takes on the role of Captain Von Trapp. Verity is full of praise for her leading man, calling him “lovely” and “so down to earth” before letting slip: “We've even had water fights backstage!”

Of course, it's impossible to discuss The Sound of Music without talking about the actual music.

There are many famous songs in the Sound of Music - from the title song, to My Favourite Things, I Have Confidence, Edelweiss, The Lonely Goatherd, Climb Ev'ry Mountain, but Verity does have a favourite to perform in the show.

"I think it's probably Do Re Mi. It starts off slowly and expands into this big piece. You're out of breath by the end of it!"

Although Verity's acting career came into prominence when she appeared in Emmerdale at the age of 12, she said she has always wanted to be part of the musical theatre world, and took singing and dancing classes alongside her filming commitments, before studying for a musical theatre diploma.

But how does theatre differ from TV? “With theatre you get an instant reaction from the audience. There's also that risk factor. You could forget your lines, or fall over. Your security is taken away and you're right in at the deep end.”

“The adrenalin and buzz take over when you're on stage, and I think that can only enhance your performances.”

“I had to give a year's notice when I decided to leave Emmerdale,” Verity continues. “It was a case of now or never.”

“I've got to to two amazing shows and I've been so lucky that it's happened.”

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