The Sound of Music is enchantingly wonderful

sound of music 1

They say the test of a good musical is whether or not you’re humming the tunes as you leave the theatre. The Sound of Music is so well loved we’re humming the tunes as we arrive at the theatre. It would be fair to say that most of the audience were already intimately familiar with the show.

The Australian cast of this acclaimed London Palladium production face a tough challenge as they try to bring The Captain, Maria, Baroness Von Schraeder, Max, Frau Schmidt and all the children to life. Most of us have grown up watching the film, I’ve even been to Saltzburg and taken a tour of the film’s locations.

The most obvious achievement of the show is the cast’s ability to make each of the roles their own.

If you’re not familiar with the story, The Sound of Music follows trainee Nun Maria Rainer who is sent to be a governess for a widowed naval Captain who has seven children. The awkward and innocent Maria causes all sorts of trouble as she brings songs and games into the Captain’s military driven world.

sound of music 3

Amy Lehpamer is a delight as Maria, her performance was comic and thoroughly energetic. Cameron Daddo is surprisingly effective as Captian von Trapp – his portrayal moves delicately from stoic military man to caring father.

Marina Prior takes on the role of Baroness von Schraeder, while David James plays concert organiser Max Detweiler. Much loved Australian actress Lorraine Bayly is a welcome sight as house keeper Frau Schmidt, and Johanna Allen hits all the high notes as the Mother Abbess. Stefanie Jones is perfect as the older von Trapp daughter Leisl.

The shining stars of this show though are the local actors playing the remaining six von Trapp family children. Two different teams take on the roles on alternate nights. We saw one team in action at the media call yesterday afternoon, and another took the stage for opening night. They are all brilliant.

sound of music 2

The production takes a mix of songs from both the original stage production and additional songs that Rogers and Hammerstein added for the film version. So while you know all the words to Do-Re-Mi, My Favourite Things and Climb Every Mountain. There’s something very excited about suddenly encountering How Can Love Survive? and No Way to Stop It.

Both songs that were performed by the characters of Baroness von Schraeder and Max Detweiler were cut from the film version before the cameras rolled, and here the enchanting Marina Prior gets to deliver a more nuanced portrayal of the Captain’s initial love interest.

The other unexpected part of seeing the show closer to it’s original format is that some of the songs appear at different places in the story.

The big music numbers are sensational, Do-Re-Mi is manically fun, Climb Every Mountain is emotional and uplifting and So Long Farewell is a lot of fun.

Walking out the theatre, not only were we singing the songs, we were ready to turn around and go see it again.

The Sound of Music is at Crown Theatre until October 9th, tickets available from Ticketmaster.

Graeme Watson


Tags: , , , , ,