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The Sound of Music @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

Published by: Yvonne Delahaye on 20th May 2016 | View all blogs by Yvonne Delahaye

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There are some things that have become an essential part of Christmas time, panto, crackers, dramatic soap storylines and, of course, The Sound of Music.  Released in 1965, following its adaptation of the 1959 Broadway musical, it starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plumber and  has become the most successful movie musical in history. It all began with the story of the Trapp Family Singers and Baroness Maria von Trapp’s 1949 autobiography, which inspired Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse to create a Broadway musical in 1959. The Sound of Music tells the true story of the world-famous singing family, from their romantic beginnings and search for happiness, to their thrilling escape to freedom as their beloved Austria became part of the Third Reich at the start of WWII.

The unforgettable score features some of the most memorable songs ever performed on stage, including Edelweiss, My Favorite Thing, Do-Re-Mi, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, So Long, Farewell and of course, the title song, The Sound of Music. This touring stage production is produced by Bill Kenwright, directed by Martin Connor, choreographed by Olivier Award winner Bill Deamer, with musical direction by David Steadman.  Gary McCann has created a wonderfully lavish, clever set recreating the abbey and house against a stunning backdrop depicting the mountains beyond.

BBC1’s The Voice runner-up and award-nominated Lucy O’Byrne stars in the role of Maria in this spectacular five-star production.  Lucy O’Byrne became a household name when she shot to success as the runner-up in the live shows of the TV talent show. With chart-topper Will.i.am as her mentor, and biggest fan, Lucy made history as the first classical singer to reach the final, impressing the nation with her stunning vocal range. Now, having recently performed at the BBC Proms, she makes her musical debut as the young postulant, Maria. Her first album, Debut, was released earlier this month.  Lucy has a warmth, charm and energy perfectly suited to Maria and once settled into the role, proved she deserved to be playing the lead.

Captain Von Trapp is played by Andrew Lancel, best known for his roles in Coronation Street as Frank Foster (for which he won Villan of The Year at the British Soap Awards) and as DI Neil Manson in The Bill.  This is Andrew’s first musical and was only his second performance since taking over the role, so he did look a bit uncomfortable at times.  He does have a nice baritone voice though and I’m sure once he settles into the role he’ll start to relax and enjoy it. 

 

Photo: Pamela Raith, courtesy of The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

Someone who looked completely relaxed and at ease with himself and the role was Duncan Smith as Max and I loved his camp performance.  The show was completely stolen for me by Jan Hartley as Mother Abbess whose sublime rendition of Climb Every Mountain, shook the theatre as she hit that top D, now that really is a voice that deserves to be heard!  The rest of the cast includes Isla Carter (Baroness Elsa), Kane Verrall (Rolf), Annie Horn (Liesl), Zoe Ann Brown (Sister Margaretta), Kate Scott (Sister Berthe), Tammy Davies (Sister Sophia), Jude Neill (Ursula), Anouska Eaton (Baroness Elberfeld), Jon de Ville (Franz), Pippa Winslow (Frau Schmidt), Scott Ainslie (Admiral von Schreiber), Piers Bate (Baron Elberfeld) and Lewis Barnshaw.

If you love the film (and who doesn’t?), this production is a ‘must see’.  The heart-warming love story translates perfectly to the stage, the singing is divine and the operatic tones at times, particularly in the choral harmonies in the abbey, seem heavenly. 

 

For tour details and to book tickets, visit www.atgtickets.com

 

 

Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye

@yvonnedelahaye

20.5.16

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