A 22-year-old from Kent is competing to win a role in a West End musical in ITV’s new ABBA-inspired reality programme.
Maisie Waller, from Margate, is one of 14 hopefuls performing the Swedish pop group’s hits to land a part in the beloved show, Mamma Mia!
Maisie, who has no formal musical theatre training, spent years walking the boards in local amateur dramatics productions before applying to ITV’s Mamma Mia! I Have a Dream.
The show, hosted by Zoe Ball and judged by Alan Carr, is a competition to find the West End’s next Sophie and Sky for the smash hit show, which features the iconic band’s song catalogue.
Sophie, the role Maisie is hoping to win, is the sunny bride-to-be trying to identify her father in time for her wedding.
Filmed in Greece, the series debuts this Sunday, October 22.
Maisie, whose favourite ABBA song is ‘My Love, My Life’, said: “I’ve loved the character ever since I first watched the movie. I loved her bubbly personality and adventurous spirit.
“She has a close relationship with her mum that I can relate to. It’s the ultimate feel-good role and I can imagine it's so much fun being up on-stage dong that role every night and I would love to do it.”
She continued: “I have three sisters and when I was younger my mum put us all into musical theatre classes and I absolutely fell in love.
“My sisters realised it wasn’t for them, but I begged my mum to keep me in the classes and when I started performing in local amateur dramatics, I would try and do every show in the area no matter how big or small.
“I just wanted to be on stage. I spent all my free time in rehearsal! Opportunities like this don’t come around often for amateur dramatic performers like myself.
“As someone that’s had no formal training or contacts in the industry, it would be impossible for me to get an audition for anything professional, so I’m just so grateful to be given the opportunity.”
Comedian Alan Carr will be joined on the judging panel by singer Jessie Ware, West End performer Samantha Barks and Glee star Amber Riley.
The show will put their singing, dancing, acting and chemistry to the test through a series of challenges, with the judges whittling away the competitors to their final pairing.
Describing the show former Chatty Man host Alan Carr said: “I just think it's so colourful, it's so fabulous, it's so fun. The show is like a Berocca for me.
“I think being in Corfu really helps.The show is just joyful fun on one of the most beautiful islands you'll see. So yeah, what's not to love? It's lovely.”
You can catch the first episode of Mamma Mia! I Have a Dream this Sunday, October 22 at 6pm on ITV1.