Following a successful tour in 2015, the Sound of Music is back again and starting it’s tour at Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre.
As we all know, The Sound of Music is based on a true story of the world-famous singing family, taking us on a journey in search for their dream of happiness, as they escaped to freedom when Austria became part of the Third Reich at the start of WWII. The Trapp Family Singers and Baroness Maria von Trapp’s 1949 autobiography was inspired by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse to create a Broadway musical in 1959. And then the 1965 film that most of us grew up with. I know in my household we watched it more than just at Christmas time.
Being the huge fan that I am, I set the bar high before entering the theatre. I try not to compare shows to films, but sometimes when you love a film so much it’s hard not to do so.
I was really pleased to see that the show attracted a variety of ages, confirming the fact that this really is a timeless classic. I was lucky enough to be able to take my 11 year old with me, as she has grown up with the film.
From the first scene, I knew this was going to be world class and on point. Lucy O’Brian, a runner up from The Voice, had hugh shoes to fill as I felt she would never be able to be Julie Andrews who to me was perfection personified. Yet with songs including My Favourite Things and Do-Re-Mi performed quite early on, Lucy instantly won over the audience, and myself and we were soon all singing along lustily with her.
Unfortunate Andrew Lancel, as Captain von Trapp, didn’t win me over as quickly and I am sincerely hoping it was just press night jitters. I understand that at the start it’s his role to act a little cold and wooden, as that was the Captain’s nature and way of coping after losing his wife. But after falling in love again with Maria it would have been nice to feel that he was a little warmer and less vacant; although his performance in Edelweiss was indeed heart-warming.
The children were superb, energetic and engaging throughout. Annie Holland as Liesl was a beautiful and innocent as Charmain Carr was in the film and her duet Sixteen Going on Seventeen with Rolf played by Kane Verrall was elegantly performed. One thing however I would have changed was for them to do the dance routine from the film in the So Long, Farewell scenes. It’s a part that I feel would really stand out and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one waiting for it.
What can I say about Jan Hartley as Mother Abbess? She simply stole the show at the end of Act I with Climb Ev’ry Mountain – what a voice! If I was able to hit rewind and watch her again, I would have done so. She was simply outstanding.
For me there were a few surprises and a few new songs that I was not expecting, but that’s because I was anticipating the film on stage. The set was magnificent, effortlessly moving from one scene to the next, taking you with them on their journey.
It doesn’t matter if you are a fan of The Sound of Music or not, this has to be one of the best musicals I have seen. It’s an emotional night not to be missed and I am not ashamed to admit that I cried more than once!
Grab yourself a ticket and follow your dream with the von Trapp Family Singers, for a unforgettable night out.
The Sound of Music runs until Saturday 21st May at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre. Tickets are available from http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/aylesbury-waterside-theatre or call the Box Office on 0844 871 7607.