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Review: The Sound of Music at Newcastle Theatre Royal
With classic hits from Edelweiss to My Favourite Thingsvia Do-Re-Mi, this is a popular musical with something for everyone to enjoy.
The Sound of Music is, of course, the multiple Tony Award–winning musical by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse dates back to 1959.Premiered just before Hammerstein died, it would be the famous writing partnership’s final musical. For its source it uses the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. It remains at the core of our collective childhoods thanks to the 1965 movie with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Of course, any production of the original musical is now closely compared with the film.
The 2015 tour features the brilliant singing talents of Danielle Hope as the young Austrian postulant, who is training to be a nun. Danielle is fabulous as Maria and sounds very similar to Julie Andrews. From the opening lines of that first song The Sound of Music the production is in very safe capable hands.
The story begins in Nonnberg Abbey, which is where Maria is training and her record is being discussed by Sisters Berthe (Jessica Shearman), Sophia (Katie Shearman), Margaretta (Zoë Ann Bown) and Mother Abbess (Jan Hartley). The nun’s did a marvellous job of the classic song Maria.
The decision is then taken to let Maria go off to be the governess for the von Trapp family until September. At this point the fabulous set design turns into the von Trapp’s house and Gary McCann has created a versatile space for the fun and frolics that take place there. Maria is introduced to the Von Trapp’s seven children by their dad, Captain von Trapp (Steven Houghton). The seven children are absolutely delightful. They are both well disciplined and clearly enjoying it – an attitude which serves the show well.
The quality of the songs for this show matches the performances given by a strong cast. Eldest daughter Liesl (Grace Chapman) fits in with Danielle Hope and Rolf (Luke Gruber) well on Sixteen Going On Seventeen. Jan Hartley, in her role as Mother Abbess, finishes the first act with a cracking rendition of Climb Ev’ry Mountain.
As entertaining as the show is, perhaps the first half is a little longer than it needs be. My Favorite Things seemed to pop up with every moment of mild peril. That said, director Martin Connor draws some great performances from the cast, especially from the von Trapp children.
This production of The Sound of Music is underpinned by great songs and a talented cast that makes for a very entertaining evening’s entertainment.
This review was written by Stephen Oliver for the North East Theatre Guide Preview from Jowheretogo PR (www.jowheretogo.com). Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Jowheretogo on Facebook www.facebook.com/Jowheretogo
The Sound of Music is at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Tuesday 1stuntil Saturday 12th September 2015, playing evenings at 7.30pm, matinees on Wed 2pm (2 Sept only), Thu 2pm and Sat 2.30pm.
Tickets from £14.50 (save 50p per ticket online), children £5 off all performances (restrictions apply). Tickets can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (all calls are charged at 7p a minute plus your phone company’s access charge, calls from mobiles may vary, please contact your operator for details) or book online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk