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Thursday, 24 February, 2000, 17:59 GMT
From EastEnders to Eliza
Martine McCutcheon
Martine McCutcheon: Considering stage role
Actress-turned-singer Martine McCutcheon has emerged as the front-runner to play the part of Eliza Doolittle on the London stage.

Producers of a new version of My Fair Lady at the National Theatre have confirmed that former EastEnders star McCutcheon, 24, has been offered the role of the Cockney flower girl, made famous by Audrey Hepburn in the 1964 Hollywood movie.

They are now waiting to find out if the singer and actress can take them up on the offer, depending on her other career commitments.
Martine McCutcheon
McCutcheon as troubled EastEnder Tiffany Mitchell
"Martine has been seen for the role, and there is a strong likelihood that she will take the part," said a spokeswoman.

"But until the ink is dry on the contract we cannot say for certain that she will be starring in the show."

The production is scheduled to take to the stage next year under the artistic direction of the National's Trevor Nunn and celebrated theatre impresario Cameron Mackintosh.

They earmarked McCutcheon for the rags-to-riches role of Eliza after she successfully topped the charts with her debut single Perfect Moment.

Other actresses rumoured to have been considered for the part have included Anna Friel, Minnie Driver and Catherine Zeta Jones.
My Fair Lady
The role of Eliza was made famous by Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn starred in the film of My Fair Lady alongside Rex Harrison as the insensitive Professor Higgins who takes up a challenge to turn a unrefined street girl into a lady.

Based on the George Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion, it won an Oscar, a Bafta and a Golden Globe.

The National's spokeswoman said a formal announcement of the show's final cast would be made later in the year.

See also:

27 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Martine's Children in Need boost
12 Apr 99 | Entertainment
Ex-EastEnders star's perfect moment
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