Former Hollyoaks’ actress Summer Strallen received a standing ovation after making her stage debut as Maria von Trapp in The Sound Of Music. The 23-year-old – who took over the part of singing nun Maria from Connie Fisher – was thrilled with the reception she got at the gala performance at the London Palladium. “You can’t beat a standing ovation at the London Palladium in The Sound Of Music. It was fantastic. I tried my hardest and I hope that has been enough,” she said. Asked if she’d paid close attention to Andrews’ performance in the movie version, the actress said: “I didn’t study it but I am a fan of hers, and I wanted to bring as much joy and happiness to the part as possible. “I wanted to bring as much of Summer as I could to it.” Summer was unveiled as the new Maria in an elaborate ‘life meets art’ deal which saw Andrew Lloyd Webber plant her on Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, where she played theatrical wannabe Summer Shaw. The star said the experimental link with Hollyoaks had proved a great success. “I think the whole reason we did this was to bring a new generation to the theatre,” she said. Lord Lloyd Webber was thrilled with his new Maria. “She was fantastic. We are very proud of her,” he said. Asked if he had plans to repeat the experimental tie-in with a soap opera, he added: “It seems to have worked.”