The classic musical for a light-hearted evening
- 17 October 2011
- by Sophia Hélène Price
The Sound of Music, based on the true story of the von Trapp family, is well known as a cult film starring Julie Andrews. With music and lyrics from the famous duo Rodgers and Hammerstein (Oklahoma, The King and I, South Pacific), The Sound of Music is packed with catchy songs that everyone has hummed at some point in their life, from bedtime lullabies (Eidelweiss) to school-concert renditions (Do-Re-Mi, I am Sixteen going on Seventeen, So Long Farewell).
At the New Wimbledon Theatre, all the generations gather together for an evening of sheer delight. There is a sense of camaraderie amongst the audience in anticipation of the evening's innocent pleasure. Lesley Garrett as the Mother Abbess holds the ensemble of nuns together before unleashing her full talent in operatic mode at the end of each act (Climb Ev'ry Mountain). Replacing Connie Fisher (winner of 2006 BBC talent contest How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria), Verity Rushworth's, Maria is fresh and joyful, looking and behaving much like the young Julie Andrews, brimming with eagerness and an engaging smile. Her crisply spoken words are imbued with a musical quality as she registers the enormity of her task; from nun to nanny of seven children! Michael Praed as Captain Georg Von Trapp delivers his lines with the ease of an accomplished actor and singer, further enhanced by his undeniably good looks, as he stands firm against the Nazis.
The infectious optimism, under Jeremy Sams' directorship, rubs off on the children who are perfectly cast with their unbounded enthusiasm which holds to the very end; the youngest ones continue to sing along and tease each other during the curtain call. It is clear that they are having a wonderful time and their charm is all the more to their credit considering the discipline and accuracy of their performance, against a back drop of grandiose ever changing scenes. It would be hard not to come away smiling.
The Sound of Music runs until 22nd October and on tour. Book now for an early half-term treat, a cheery girl's night out or an evening to bond with the grandparents.