She may not have been a Jewish Maria, but Abi Finley – one of the finalists in the recent BBC show How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria – has no desire to go back into obscurity, having tasted the flavour of fame.
While Andrew Lloyd-Webber lost out on her for his new staging of The Sound Of Music, his long-time creative partner Tim Rice seems only too happy to help make the 23-year-old’s dream come true.
He has snapped her up for his new production of Blondel, a comic musical set in the 12th Century about a medieval minstrel who has to find the missing King Richard before Prince John claims the crown. The original production was staged more than 20 years ago.
“I’m very excited at being given such a wonderful opportunity,” says Abi, who on the cast credits says she “…wants to thank Connie for winning and everyone else that made this possible”!
But cack in her home town of Manchester, there’s been a debate in local paper The Jewish Telegraph. The somewhat frum Abi has said that she will keep Shabbat as far as possible, including walking to the theatre on Friday nights.
One reader has attacked Abi, saying, “The world of showbiz is irreverent and immoral. If Abi believes that in professional showbusiness she will be able to keep any kind of Orthodoxy, even the extremely watered down variety, then she is living in cloud cuckoo land.”
The show will be on at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington, North London, from November 23-December 31.
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