MOST of us who know The Sound of Music are likely to associate its lead character Maria with the iconic actress and singer Julie Andrews. For anyone trying to fill her shoes, they'd best be sporting some pretty large feet.
Currently, this mammoth task has fallen into the lap of 26-year-old Bethany Dickson, who is starring in the 2006 London Palladium version of the award-winning musical at the Marina Bay Sands Grand Theatre from now till Aug 10.
"I've always loved Julie Andrews, so this is a dream come true," says the soft-spoken thespian who hails from South Africa. "It was very stressful to be playing this role in the beginning, yes. But I'm very comfortable in it now. I think I just got used to it naturally with time."
Set in Austria, against the backdrop of the Nazi invasion in 1938, the story begins with the 19-year-old protagonist, Maria Rainer, who lives in an abbey and is one day sent to be a governess for the Von Trapp family. There, she wins the hearts of the seven Von Trapp children and their stern navy-trained father, Captain Von Trapp, through her love for music.