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The Sound of Music, The Alhambra, Bradford

Published by: GRAHAM CLARK on 17th Feb 2016 | View all blogs by GRAHAM CLARK

There seems to be a lot of the 1960's musical films being transferred to the theatre, I recently saw Mary Poppins and was transfixed in how well the show took to the stage. Now The Sound of Music is returning to the stage in a national tour and this too is a superb show.

Lucy O'Byrne who was the runner up of the TV programme The Voice plays Maria. It was always going to be an hard act to follow in the foot steps of Julie Andrews but O'Byrne fits into the role perfectly: she has the same mannerisms and pronunciation as Julie Andrews and brings to the character a youthful yet innocent charm not forgetting her powerful, rich vocals.

Within the first 5 minutes of the curtain going up The Sound of Music has been performed. It is like a greatest hits album as the melodic songs still sound as good as you remember them. My Favourite Things, Do-Re-Me and Sixteen Going on Seventeen are sung and reprised many times during the evening.

Gary O'Brien plays Captain Von Trapp, the father of the 7 children Maria comes to look after. I found that O'Brien portrayed a suave yet smooth character who when he let down his barriers found true love with Maria.

Jan Hartley as Mother Abbess brought some wisdom to the role and her version of Climb Every Mountain sent shivers down my spine. 

There was a pathos and comedy too with the likeable Max Detweiler played by Duncan Smith, I enjoyed every scene he was in.

Isla Carter played the cool Elsa Schraeder who had her eye on Captain Von Trapp but of course Von Trapp has his eye on Maria. Her aloof character was totally at odds with the warm and caring Maria and of course Maria gets always with the Captain's 7 children who were also a huge part of this spectacular show.

One thing that flew over my young head when I originally saw the film version was that the musical is set in 1938 in pre war Austria and the German invasion is about to take place, although there is no direct mention of Adolf Hitler, there are plenty of references which effect how the show ends with the family having to flee Austria.

The audience at The Alhambra loved it and gave the performers a standing ovation which was justly earned. A joyful evening on a cold miserable February night. Brilliant.


 Runs until Saturday 20 February 2016.


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