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Julie Andrews to make live return at O2 Arena

Julie Andrews

Story by Jack Foley

JULIE Andrews will return to the UK stage for the first time in 30 years with a special performance called The Gift of Music.

Taking place at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday, May 8, the event will consist of gifts of music old and new – performances of Rodgers and Hammerstein classics, as well as the musical adaptation and her live narration of Simeon’s Gift, the best-selling children’s book written by Julie and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton.

Accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Ian Fraser, Ms Andrews will be joined on stage with an ensemble of five performers who have graced the West End and/or Broadway.

Together they will take the audience on a nostalgic trip featuring clips, memories and songs of great musical theatre that will include material from The Sound of Music, The King and I, South Pacific and Carousel.

Dame Julie has captivated audiences throughout her legendary career, from her stage performances in The Boy Friend, My Fair Lady and Camelot to unforgettable roles in Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music right through to her most recent projects, The Princess Diaries, the Shrek films and Eloise at the Plaza.

Her latest films, Tooth Fairy, and the animated Despicable Me will be released in 2010.

Commenting on the concert, Julie said: “To perform once again in my homeland on the London stage will be a wonderful moment – it is where it all began for me, and I am so excited to be able to share a brand new work with audiences.”

David Campbell, Chief Executive and President of AEG Europe, added: “There are few acts who can be called legendary, but Julie Andrews is certainly one of them. I am thrilled she will be gracing The O2 – her show will be a real highlight of the 2010 calendar.”

Tickets are now on sale from The O2 or by calling 0844 856 0202.