Connie Fisher was delighted to be named Maria: “I feel on top of the world, thanks very much. I won’t let you down. Every night will be an opening night. Thanks for making my dreams come true.” On 15 November 2006, she opened to good reviews in the part of Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music in the West End, London on a six-month contract, which was extended until February 3 2008, when Connie will make her final appearance as Maria Von Trapp.
Fisher was born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, and is daughter of a British Army Royal Corps of Signals Major. Fisher lived in Dorset until the age of six, when she moved to a village near Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, South Wales. She attended Hayscastle Junior School, and then went on to Sir Thomas Picton School where she received the nickname ‘paperboy’. She speaks Welsh and during the final weeks of How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? she recorded several interview pieces for Radio Cymru.
During her teenage years she was a member of Haverfordwest Operatic Society where she performed in The Pirates of Penzance and played Nellie Forbush in South Pacific. She was also a member of The Torch Youth Theatre where she performed in George Buchner’s play Woyzek. She successfully became a member of National Youth Theatre (1999-2002), where she played Lady of the Lake in the UK Tour of Pendragon, and played the lead role, Morgan Le Fay, when the production toured Japan in 2001. From an early age Fisher was a member of Côr Newyddion Da (English translation – “Good News Choir”), which introduced her to the Eisteddfodic field and encouraged her to perform as a soloist. She competed annually in the Urdd Gobaith Cymru, National and International Eisteddfods. In 2002 Fisher won the Wilbert Lloyd Roberts Scholarship in the National Eisteddfod “Songs from the Shows” competition and the Milford and West Wales Mercury talent competition.
Fisher gained a full scholarship to the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, graduating in 2005 with a First Class BA Hons degree in Musical Theatre, as well as the Gyearbuor Asante prize for the highest score. At Mountview she performed in Annie Get Your Gun, A…my name is Alice, Jerry’s Girls and Julie Jordan in Carousel. Fisher has made television appearances on Jane McDonald’s Star for a Night when she was sixteen; Owen Money’s Just Up Your Street, and BBC Children in Need. Connie has also recorded a Welsh song called Curiad Calon (Heartbeat) which was released on the compilation album Cân i Gymru (A Song for Wales). She also released a charity single for the Noah’s Ark Appeal entitled ‘Eyes of a Child’.
Fisher’s first professional theatre appearance was at Milford Haven Torch Theatre, Christmas 2005, where she played Princess Samina in Aladdin. She then took the £1,000 cash prize and the Gower Trophy in the final of the 2006 Welsh Musical Theatre Young Singer of the Year Competition, held at Swansea Grand Theatre.
Before gaining the role of Maria, she worked in media telesales, whilst auditioning for several West End parts – often getting down to the final two but never getting the part. Fisher cites Julie Andrews and Ruthie Henshall as her musical theatre role models. She claims to be a bit of a tomboy, and says that as an only child, she is very independent.
Fisher has been with British Army soldier boyfriend Neal Williams (born 1979), who served in Iraq in the 31st signal regiment, for three years. The couple live in a flat in Sydenham, South London. On the weekend of the 19 November 2006 the News of the World alleged that Fisher and sound number 2 Leigh Davies from the Sound of Music had been having a relationship.
In early March 2007, she was ordered by her doctor to take two weeks’ rest from The Sound of Music, after straining her vocal cords singing through a cold. On her return to the show, it was announced that Fisher would be reducing her workload to six shows a week, with Maria being played in the Monday evening and Wednesday matinee shows by Aoife Mulholland, one of the runners-up in How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?.
On July 1, 2007, Fisher performed alongside artists including Sarah Brightman, Josh Groban, Donny Osmond and Andrea Bocelli in Lloyd Webber’s segment of the Concert for Diana at London’s Wembley Stadium in front of 63,000 people.
She appeared at Bryn Terfel’s Faenol Festival during the August Bank Holiday weekend, 2007.
In October of 2007, she won the 2007 lastminute.com People’s Choice Theatre Awards for Favourite Theatre Actress.
After her contract as Maria comes to an end on 23rd February 2008, it is rumoured that she will play the lead in a Lloyd-Webber revival of Funny Girl.
On 9 October 2006, Fisher released her debut album, Favourite Things which featured the following tracklisting:
- ‘Maybe This Time’
- ‘Natural Woman’
- ‘Dance The Dance’
- ‘Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend’
- ‘No Matter What’
- ‘All The Love I Have’
- ‘All That Jazz (With Helena Blackman and Siobhan Dillon)
- ‘Another Suitcase In Another Hall’
- ‘As Long As He Needs Me’
- ‘The Sound Of Music Suite – Entr’Acte’
- ‘The Sound Of Music Suite – My Favourite Things’
- ‘The Sound Of Music Suite – Something Good’
The Sound Of Music – London Palladium Cast Album
On 11 December 2006, the soundtrack to the new production of The Sound of Music, featuring Connie Fisher, Lesley Garrett and the cast of the production, was released with the following tracklisting:
- The Sound Of Music
- My Favourite Things
- I Have Confidence
- Sixteen Going On Seventeen
- My favourite things (Reprise)
- How Can Love Survive?
- The Sound Of Music (Reprise)
- The Lonely Goatherd
- The Grand Waltz
- So Long, Farewell
- Climb Ev’ry Mountain
- No Way To Stop It
- Something Good
- The Wedding Processional
- Sixteen Going On Seventeen (Reprise)
- Climb Ev’ry Mountain (Reprise)
The album was produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Nigel Wright for Really Useful Records..