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Aoife Mulholland (born 29 May 1978) is an Irish actress and musical theatre performer from Salthillmarker, Galwaymarker on the west coast of Irelandmarker. Aoife (pronounced Ee-fah - ) is a successful leading lady in London'smarker West Endmarker. She has starred as Roxie Hart (twice) in Chicago, at the Cambridge Theatremarker and for 18 months as Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music at the London Palladiummarker. From December 2009 she will be appearing as Brooke Wyndham in Legally Blonde at the Savoy Theatremarker. Since landing these roles she has been praised for her singing voice, her dancing and her acting skills. To portray her characters she has mastered English (received pronunciation) and American accents. She has also appeared in concerts, films and several popular TV series.

Personal life

Early life

Mulholland is the youngest of four siblings, her parents are John & Margaret, her two brothers are Alan and Eddie and her sister is called Lisa. She attended the National University of Ireland, Galwaymarker, University College Dublinmarker, and the Central School of Speech and Drama (CSSD). As well as being a skilled soprano she is an excellent dancer and highly accomplished pianist.

She is very proud to come from Salthillmarker, (a seaside resort) in Galwaymarker, Irelandmarker and in 2003 became the 30th annual 'Galway Rose', and represented Galway at 'The Rose of Tralee'. Entertainment runs in her family; her grandparents owned a pub and her grandad was often the main entertainer; Mulholland has said, "When her family get together there's always a sing-song. I come from a very musical family - every year we would meet on Christmas night and all the kids were encouraged to get up and perform. I think it was then that I realised I loved singing." The first musical Mulholland appeared in was an amateur production of The Sound of Music, where she played Brigitta and her brother played Fredrick. Shortly before starting her course at the Central School of Speech and Drama, she moved to Londonmarker and successfully auditioned for a part as a traditional Irish dancer, in the professional dance show, Dance of Desire, in which she spent four months.

Education

Mulholland is an accomplished musician; with Grade 8 in piano and singing. She studied for a music degree at University College Dublinmarker and did a post graduate diploma in Business Studies at the National University of Ireland, Galwaymarker. She then went on to train at London's Central School of Speech and Drama. Mulholland graduated from CSSD with a Masters Degree in Acting and Musical Theatre. Whilst training at CSSD, she appeared in many student productions, including Beckett's Play and Come and Go (both directed by Lucy Bailey) as well as The Winter's Tale and The Bright Sun Brings it to Light. And with the Galway Musical Society she played Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street. While as Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun, she was nominated for an A.I.M.S. Best Actress Award.

Maria And After

Mulholland was first seen nationally in 2006 on the hit BBC TV show How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? (HDYSAPLM). She appeared on the show with her best friend, Abi Finley and reached the semi-final of the BBC competition, but lost out to Siobhan Dillon in the sing-off, singing Don't Cry For Me Argentina. HDYSAPLM won a prestigious international Emmy Award in New York (2007) for best non-scripted entertainment.

Mulholland admitted on HDYSAPLM that when she first started out she had to sell her car after moving to Londonmarker, to be able to afford to continue in her chosen career, so determined was she to succeed in London's West End. Although now, after appearing in two hit West End shows, she is able to live in her own flat in a fashionable part of North Londonmarker, which she purchased along with a new piano, on which she practices and writes songs. On achieving success Mulholland said in an interview, “If anyone had said a year ago that I'd be in one West End show, never mind two, I'd have never believed it,” she said. “This all feels like a dream.”

Andrew Lloyd Webber has since admitted to Mulholland that he made a mistake in sending her home too early from the BBC show, and is now immensely proud of the singer and her performances at the London Palladiummarker as Maria; Lloyd Webber said on the news of her recruitment, "I welcome Aoife, she gave a sensational audition." Mulholland has also said that Lloyd Webber is always apologising for sending her home every time he sees her, and she keeps joking with him, that she doesn't blame him.

In an interview Mulholland gave to The Times newspaper she speaks about her feelings on performing in the West End: 'It's about six in the evening in the West End of London and there is a sense of keen anticipation on the streets. As the audiences mill about outside, thousands of performers and musicians across London are getting ready for their opening numbers. Upstairs at the Cambridge Theatremarker, Mulholland is still shot with the excitement of being on stage in a hit West End musical. “When I sing my title song, Roxie, even now when I think about it I get butterflies,” she says. “You sail into the song and the guys lift you up and you get into it. Every single night I think, ooh, I’m going to be a star.”'

Mulholland has said her favourite character is Eliza Doolittle from My Fair Lady. "I love her transformation from a rough and ready girl to a sophisticated lady".

Career

Shortly after HDYSAPLM finished in December 2006 Mulholland was signed by agents Curtis Brown and promptly took on the part of Roxie Hart, a lead character in the West End musical Chicago. She performed this role to rave reviews and many, many, many standing ovations, "The classically trained singer has enjoyed huge success including appearing as temptress Roxie Hart in the West End production of the musical Chicago", wrote the Daily Mail. "Racy, dark and brutally funny", reviewed the Sunday Times, in 2006. "Aoife, makes a brilliant Roxie. She is likeable and manipulative simultaneously, sexy and girlish at the same time. She is partnered by Annette McLaughlin as 'Velma Kelly', making a fantastic double-act, with both women being powerful singers and dancers."

Mulholland left the cast of Chicago at the end of March 2007, however on 5 December 2007 she was, as a past Roxie, invited back to attend the star-studded 10 Year Charity Gala performance and Black Tie Reception to celebrate the production's tenth anniversary (over the 10 years, 4.5 million people have been in the audience). "Denise van Outen, on a full night off from her chores in Rent Remixed, joined Aoife Mullholland perched atop either side of the stage for a lustily sung "Funny Honey" - Broadway.com

Mulholland was asked by Andrew Lloyd Webber to take over the role of Maria in The Sound of Music as an 'alternate' on Monday evenings and Wednesday matinees, from the 16 April 2007; this was after Connie Fisher followed medical advice informing her to only do 6 of the 8 shows per week. Mulholland has performed the role of Maria with further glowing reviews and nightly standing ovations from sold out theatre audiences (over 2300 people a show fill the London Palladiummarker). "Her voice is just as I remember Maria, which would be as Julie Andrews played her in one of my favourite childhood films, honest, genuine, heartfelt and passionate, and her songs were pitch-perfect." wrote Megan Reynolds of The Guardian. On February 26, 2008, Summer Strallen took over the role of Maria from Fisher. Mulholland continued to perform as the alternate until August 20, 2008. She was succeeded by Gemma Baird.

On Friday 24 August 2007 Mulholland was invited to perform at the BBC Radio 2 Gala for Andrew Lloyd Webber, hosted by Denise Van Outen - among the other artists performing with her were: Lee Mead from Joseph; Connie Fisher from the The Sound of Music; Stephen Gately, Preeya Kalidas, Raza Jaffrey, Elena Roger, Dean Collinson, Lorna Want and Duncan James. Mulholland sang 'All The Love I Have', from 'The Beautiful Game'.

On 29 November 2007 Mulholland had a very successful debut at the 100 Clubmarker in London as the lead vocalist of the Sorrentino Band. She sang jazz and swing numbers with the nine piece swing and soul band. Some of the numbers she performed were: 'My Baby Just Cares For Me', 'Cry Me A River' and 'Son Of A Preacher Man'.

On Christmas Eve 2007 Mulholland was seen performing with Lee Mead and Connie Fisher and some of the other Maria and Joseph finalists in a BBC special 'festive' reunion show called When Joseph met Maria! - celebrating both the hit BBC shows - it was recorded earlier on December 2, 2007.

In May 2008, Mulholland appeared in Sir Tim Rice's concert revival of his hit musical Chess, with Josh Groban as Anatoly Sergievsky, Idina Menzel as Florence, Adam Pascal as Frederick Trumper, Kerry Ellis as Svetlana and Marti Pellow as the Arbiter. This was performed at the Royal Albert Hallmarker, on Monday, May 12 and Tuesday, May 13, 2008. Chess is a musical with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, formerly of ABBA.

Between 3 July and 5 July 2008, Mulholland starred in her own sold out show at the Town Hall Theatre, in Galway, Ireland. In this show (called Sway with Aoife) Mulholland performed songs from her musical theatre career. She also released an album recorded during these shows, available on her website.

Mulholland has represented Andrew Lloyd Webber's production The Sound Of Music twice at the free event West End Live held in Leicester Square each year, in 2007 and 2008.

On September 18, 2008 Mulholland starred with the RTÉ Orchestra and Jessie Buckley in Dublin at the Concert Hall, in a Radio Broadcast highlighting songs from the career of Andrew Lloyd Webber who joined her on stage and warmly praised her.

At the end of 2008, after leaving The Sound Of Music, Mulholland worked as a presenter on a morning report on the Von Trapp family home for BBC Breakfast news. She was also seen being involved with the RTÉ children's television programme, Jam the Musical, as a mentor for a group of children rehearsing in a competition for a musical theatre performance.

In November 2008 Mulholland returned to her first leading West End role, Roxie Hart, in the musical Chicago at the Cambridge Theatre London, where she featured with both Justin Lee Collins and Jerry Springer until July 12 2009.

From 5 December 2009 Mulholland will be playing Brooke Wyndham, in the musical Legally Blonde, a fitness video queen accused of murdering her rich elderly husband, who becomes Elle Wood's first client while interning at a law firm. She joins Sheridan Smith, Duncan James and Alex Gaumond in London's West End Savoy Theatremarker.

Aoife married Jason Molins in Marbella, Spain, on Sunday, 6th of September, 2009.

Musical Theatre

Start Year Production Venue Role Notes And Information
2005 Annie Get Your Gun Galway, Ireland Annie Oakley Mulholland Received an AIMS Best Actress Nomination
2006 Chicago Cambridge Theatre, London Roxie Hart First West End Lead Role Chicago Musical Official website
2007 The Sound of Music London Palladium, London Maria von Trapp Lead Role (Alternate) The Sound Of Music Official website
2008 Chess Royal Albert Hall, London 'Chess In Concert Company' The Aoife Mulholland Blog Released on region-free DVD (Reprise 2-517636)
2008 Chicago Cambridge Theatre, London Roxie Hart Reprised Her Role - From Nov 08 To July 9 Chicago Musical Official website
2009 Legally Blonde Savoy Theatre, London Brooke Wyndham From Dec 09 Legally Blonde Official website


Television

Year TV Company TV series Role Notes
2004 RTEmarker Foreign Exchange Shop Assistant First Major TV Role
2006 BBC How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? Herself - To Play Maria In The Sound Of Music Contestant - Semi-Finalist - May To August
2007 BBC When Joseph Met Maria Herself - With 'Maria' And 'Joseph' Finalists Christmas Themed Musical Show - Christmas-Eve
2008 RTEmarker Jam The Musical Herself - Mentor Mentor To Young Aspiring Musical Performers
2008 BBC BBC News Herself - Guest News Reporter Morning News Report On The Von Trapp Family Home
2009 PBS Chess in Concert Soloist - Chess In Concert Company Great Performances premiere June 17, 2009


Film

Year Film Title Role Notes
2000 Malicious Intent PC Hannigan First Major Film role
2008 The Best Years Atlanta Earle (in production)


Other Performances

Year Production Production Type Role Or Performance Notes And Information
2003 Rose Of Tralee Festival (Trad) Herself - Galway Rose A Traditional Irish Festival And Talent Show
2005 Come and Go and Play Play Lead Roles Both Directed by Lucy Baily And Both Received Critical Acclaim
2007 Chicago 10 Year Charity Gala Musical Theatre Roxie Hart Denise van Outen joined Aoife Mullholland to sing "Funny Honey", along with other past Chicago stars.
2007 BBC Radio 2 Gala for Lloyd Webber Radio Concert Lead Vocalist Hosted by Denise Van Outen with Lee Mead, Connie Fisher, Stephen Gately and Duncan James
2008 Sway With Aoife Concert Herself - A Retrospective With Heather Weir, Morgan Crowly, Barry Duffy and Fergal Gallaher At The Townhall Theatre, Galway
2008 RTEmarker Celebrates Lloyd Webber Radio Concert Lead Vocalist Dublin Concert Hall With Alex Sharpe, David Shannon, Michael McCarthy And Jessie Buckley


Discography

Studio And Live Recordings

Year Album Title Notes Label
2008 Aoife: Live From Galway On 29 September 2008 Mulholland released her debut album Aoife's Official Website


Cast Recordings

Year Album Title Notes Label
2009 Chess in Concert Live Recording of 2008 Royal Albert Hall Performance Reprise Records
2009 Highlights from Chess in Concert Live Highlight Recording of 2008 Royal Albert Hall Performance Reprise Records


References

  1. I solved a problem like Maria by going to Chicago | the Daily Mail
  2. Aoife solves the problem with Maria | the Daily Mail
  3. Aoife Mulholland stars as Maria in The Sound of Music | The Internet Forum
  4. http://www.lse.co.uk/TVNews.asp?Code=KI56025C&headline=aoife_mulholland_to_star_in_chicago TV News
  5. Aoife Mulholland
  6. Aoife In the Rose Of Tralee Competition
  7. BBC - Press Office - How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? finalists announced
  8. BBC - How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? - Homepage
  9. BBC NEWS | Entertainment | British shows scoop Emmy awards
  10. Aoife solves the problem with Maria| Showbiz | This is London
  11. Whatever happened to the OTHER Marias and Josephs? | the Daily Mail
  12. Aoife Mulholland
  13. Connie Fisher returns to the show
  14. Aoife Mulholland: Aoife Gives An Interview To The Daily Mail Newspaper
  15. Just can’t get enough of that razzle dazzle - Times Online
  16. Aoife goes from the Alps to Chicago| Theatre | This is London
  17. Irish Maria solves the problem | the Daily Mail
  18. Ask a Star : Aoife Mulholland | Chicago | london.broadway.com
  19. The Irish World : home : (Irish News)
  20. Feature : A Decade of Chicago Giving London 'The Ol' Razzle Dazzle' | Chicago | london.broadway.com
  21. Chicago cast changes from 18 December 2006: Aoife Mulholland, one of the finalists of “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?”, will star as ‘Roxie Hart’; Annette McLaughlin will star as ‘Velma Kelly’ for her third season in the role
  22. The Sound of Music: Your Reviews
  23. No Problem With Aoife As Maria (from East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
  24. Whatsonstage.com – London theatre tickets, discounts, news and reviews
  25. BBC - Radio 2 - Music Club - Andrew Lloyd Webber concert
  26. http://www.sorrentinoband.co.uk/
  27. Is the Aga's friendship hotting up? | the Daily Mail
  28. Chess in Concert Musical, Royal Albert Hall
  29. Aoife's official website
  30. Aoife's Official Website News
  31. Newspaper Article On Aoife's Galway Concerts
  32. Videos Of Aoife Mulholland Performing
  33. National Concert Hall, Dublin.


External links




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