Aoife Mulholland

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Aoife Mulholland
Aoife Mulholland.jpg
Mulholland in 2007
Background information
Birth name Aoife Mulholland
Born (1978-05-29) 29 May 1978 (age 39)
Galway, Ireland
Genres Pop, musicals
Instruments Singing
Years active 2001 – present
Website Official Website

Aoife Mulholland (/ˈfə/ EE-fə; Irish: [ˈiːfʲə]; born 29 May 1978) is an Irish actress and musical theatre performer from Salthill, Galway. Aoife is a successful leading lady in London's West End. She has starred as Roxie Hart (twice) in Chicago, at the Cambridge Theatre and for 18 months as Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music at the London Palladium; and as Brooke Wyndham in Legally Blonde at the Savoy Theatre. She has also appeared in concerts, films and several popular TV series.[1][2][3][4][5]


Maria and after[edit]

Mulholland was first seen nationally in 2006 on the hit BBC TV show How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?[6] (HDYSAPLM). Appearing on the show with her best friend, Abi Finley, Mulholland reached the semi-final, but lost out to Siobhan Dillon in the sing-off in the fifth week, singing "Don't Cry For Me Argentina".[7]

Mulholland admitted on HDYSAPLM that when she first started out she had to sell her car after moving to London, to be able to afford to continue in her chosen career, so determined was she to succeed in London's West End. 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."[8][9][10]

On appearing in HDYSAPLM? Mulholland said, "It was very, very tough. My goal from the beginning had been to make it to the final and then let the public decide. So when I got voted out, I was absolutely devastated. I was so close and knocked at the final hurdle! It was a big shock to the system."[11] Andrew Lloyd Webber has since admitted 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 Palladium as Maria; Lloyd Webber announced her recruitment saying her audition was "sensational."[12]

West End leading lady[edit]

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.[13] She received positive reviews in the Daily Mail,[14] and The Irish World.[15][16]

Mulholland left the cast of Chicago at the end of March 2007. That December, she was invited back to attend the 10 Year Charity Gala performance and Black Tie Reception to celebrate the production's tenth anniversary. Mulholland performed "Funny Honey" in duet with Denise van Outen.[17]

Although she did not win HDYSAPLM, 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 16 April 2007, after the winner Connie Fisher had to scale down from eight to six performances a week following medical advice.[18] In the role of Maria, Mulholland has received strong reviews:[19] Megan Reynolds of The Guardian wrote that her performance was "honest, genuine, heartfelt and passionate, and her songs were pitch-perfect."[20] On 26 February 2008, Summer Strallen took over the role of Maria from Fisher. Mulholland continued to perform as the alternate until 20 August 2008.[21]

On Friday 24 August 2007 Mulholland performed at the BBC Radio 2 Gala for Andrew Lloyd Webber.[22] Mulholland sang "All The Love I Have" from The Beautiful Game. On 29 November 2007 Mulholland sang jazz and swing numbers at the 100 Club in London fronting the Sorrentino Band.[23] On Christmas Eve 2007, the BBC broadcast a show called When Joseph met Maria! in which she performed with Lee Mead and Connie Fisher and some of the other Maria and Joseph finalists in a BBC special.

On 12 and 13 May 2008, Mulholland appeared at the Royal Albert Hall 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.[24][25]

Mulholland has represented Andrew Lloyd Webber's production The Sound of Music twice at the free event West End Live held in 2007 and 2008.[26] Between 3 and 5 July 2008, Mulholland starred in her own sold out show, Sway with Aoife, at the Town Hall Theatre, Galway. An album recorded during these shows was released on her website.[27] On 18 September 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 Lloyd Webber, who joined her on stage.[28]

At the end of 2008, after leaving The Sound of Music, Mulholland presented a morning report on the Von Trapp family home for BBC Breakfast News. She also worked 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.[citation needed]

In November 2008 Mulholland reprised the role of Roxie Hart in Chicago until 12 July 2009, this time starring with both Justin Lee Collins and Jerry Springer.[citation needed]

She was next cast as Brooke Wyndham, in the musical Legally Blonde in London's Savoy Theatre, co-starring with Sheridan Smith, Duncan James and Alex Gaumond.[29] She performed the role from the shows opening (5 December 2009) until late 2010.

Personal life[edit]

Early life[edit]

Mulholland is the youngest of four siblings. Her parents are politician John Mulholland & Margaret Flynn; she has two brothers, Alan and Eddie, and a sister called Lisa. She attended the National University of Ireland, Galway, University College Dublin, and the Central School of Speech and Drama (CSSD).[citation needed]

She is comes from Salthill, a seaside resort in Galway, Ireland. Her grandparents owned a pub and her grandfather 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."[30] The first musical Mulholland appeared in was an amateur production of The Sound of Music, where she played Brigitta. Shortly before starting her course at the Central School of Speech and Drama, she moved to London 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. In 2003, she became the 30th annual 'Galway Rose', and represented Galway at The Rose of Tralee contest.[31]


In addition to singing soprano, she dances and plays the piano.[citation needed] Mulholland has attained Grade 8 in piano and singing. She studied Music at University College Dublin and did a post-graduate diploma in Business Studies at the National University of Ireland, Galway. She then went on to train at London's Central School of Speech and Drama. Mulholland graduated from CSSD with a master's 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.


Mulholland married Jason Molins, a former captain of the Irish national cricket team, in 2009, in a ceremony in Spain.[32]

Work and appearances[edit]


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".[30] And she credits influences such as Julie Andrews, Judy Garland, and Dionne Warwick. She recalled the best piece of advice she received was: "Believe in yourself. There are plenty of people in life waiting to knock you down but if you have confidence in your talent, in your own ability, nobody can take that away from you and you will succeed. Never give up. Learn from your mistakes and move on."[33]

Musical theatre[edit]

Start year Production Venue Role Notes and information
2005 Annie Get Your Gun Galway, Ireland Annie Oakley received an AIMS 'Best Actress' nomination
2006 Chicago Cambridge Theatre, London Roxie Hart First West End lead role[34]
2007 The Sound of Music London Palladium, London Maria von Trapp Lead role (alternate)[35]
2008 Chess Royal Albert Hall, London 'Chess In Concert Company' Released on region-free DVD (Reprise 2-517636)[36]
2008 Chicago Cambridge Theatre, London Roxie Hart Reprised Her Role - From 8 Nov – 9 July[34]
2009 Legally Blonde Savoy Theatre, London Brooke Wyndham From 9 Dec 2009 - December 2010[37]


Year TV Company TV series Role Notes
2004 RTÉ 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 RTÉ 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 17 June 2009[38]


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

Other performances[edit]

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 RTÉ Celebrates Lloyd Webber Radio Concert Lead Vocalist Dublin Concert Hall With Alex Sharpe, David Shannon, Michael McCarthy And Jessie Buckley


Studio and live recordings[edit]

Year Album title Notes Label
2008 Aoife: Live From Galway debut album released 29 September 2008 Official Website

Cast recordings[edit]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "I solved a problem like Maria by going to Chicago". Daily Mail. London. 4 December 2006. 
  2. ^ "Aoife solves the problem with Maria". Daily Mail. London. 12 April 2007. 
  3. ^ "Aoife Mulholland stars as Maria in The Sound of Music". The Internet Forum. 18 April 2007. Archived from the original on 2 April 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "TV News". Retrieved 2 November 2010. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Aoife Mulholland". 6 March 2007. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? - Homepage". BBC. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "British shows scoop Emmy awards". BBC News. 20 November 2007. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  8. ^ "Aoife solves the problem with Maria| Showbiz". This is London. Archived from the original on 26 February 2009. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  9. ^ "Whatever happened to the OTHER Marias and Josephs?". Daily Mail. London. 21 December 2007. 
  10. ^ "Aoife Mulholland". 31 August 2010. Archived from the original on 2 June 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  11. ^ "Aoife Mulholland - Singer/Actress". Galway Independent. 27 February 2008. Archived from the original on 18 June 2008. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  12. ^ "Connie Fisher returns to the show". Retrieved 2 November 2010. [permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Aoife goes from the Alps to Chicago| Theatre". This is London. Archived from the original on 19 June 2008. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  14. ^ "Irish Maria solves the problem". Daily Mail. London. 17 April 2007. 
  15. ^ Ask a Star : Aoife Mulholland | Chicago | Archived 2 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ "home : (Irish News)". The Irish World. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  17. ^ Feature : A Decade of Chicago Giving London 'The Ol' Razzle Dazzle' | Chicago | Archived 19 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ "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". Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  19. ^ The Sound of Music: Your Reviews Archived 5 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ "No Problem With Aoife As Maria (from East London and West Essex Guardian Series)". 12 October 2007. Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  21. ^ "– London theatre tickets, discounts, news and reviews". Retrieved 2 November 2010. [permanent dead link]
  22. ^ BBC - Radio 2 - Music Club - Andrew Lloyd Webber concert Archived 23 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 February 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  24. ^ Kay, Richard (18 February 2008). "Is the Aga's friendship hotting up?". Daily Mail. London. 
  25. ^ "Chess in Concert Musical, Royal Albert Hall". Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  26. ^ "Videos Of Aoife Mulholland Performing". 16 April 2007. Archived from the original on 19 March 2009. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  27. ^ "Newspaper Article On Aoife's Galway Concerts". 28 October 2010. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  28. ^ National Concert Hall, Dublin.
  29. ^ Dunn, Carrie (26 March 2010). "Over the Rainbow is a talent show worth taking seriously". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 30 April 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  30. ^ a b "Press Office - How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? finalists announced". BBC. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  31. ^ "Aoife In the Rose Of Tralee Competition". Archived from the original on 27 June 2008. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  32. ^ (29 December 2013). "Where are they now?: Jason Mollins (Former Ireland cricket captain"Irish Independent. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  33. ^ "RTÉ Ten, The Entertainment Network, TV listings, Celebrity news, interviews, photos, videos, soaps, reviews, cinema listings". Archived from the original on 27 September 2008. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  34. ^ a b Chicago Musical Official website
  35. ^ The Sound Of Music Official website
  36. ^ The Aoife Mulholland Blog Archived 4 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  37. ^ Legally Blonde Official website
  38. ^ "Preview of Chess in Concert". PBS/WNET Television. Archived from the original on 13 June 2009. Retrieved 22 June 2009. 

External links[edit]