The Sound of Music, UK Tour: Churchill Theatre, Bromley.
Reviewed 9th January 2018.
One of the most celebrated and well-loved musicals of all time returns to the stage in 2018. The Sound of Music tells the true story of the world-famous singing family, from their romantic beginnings in search of happiness, to their exciting escape to freedom at the start of WWll.
This production of The Sound of Music, produced by Bill Kenwright, features a famous score from Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Some of the most recognisable songs including ‘Edelweiss’, ‘My Favorite Things’, ‘Do-Re-Mi’ and ‘The Sound of Music’ will certainly get audiences, young and old, humming along.
Lucy O’Byrne, who returns to the role of Maria after rave reviews, performs fantastically throughout as the lead character. She certainly has the voice to pull off the famous songs and her acting was very believable. Maria was shown to be tough when needed, yet naive and likeable at the same time. Whilst the relationship with Captain Von Trapp felt forced and staged at times, the relationship with the seven children was very touching, especially between Maria and Liesl Von Trapp, played brilliantly by Katie Shearman.
Neil McDermott plays the handsome Captain Von Trapp. His character felt slightly wooden and stiff however the delivery of his lines, especially those with a sarcastic tone was just right. To read an interview by Neil McDermott about staring in this new production click here.
The cast overall were very good. Vocally this show was very solid. ‘Confitemini Domino’ particularly showed off the expertise and harmonies of the performers. Megan Llewellyn, Mother Abbess, had an especially good vocal range and strength as demonstrated in ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’. The children, played by three alternative groups, were all very good in the role. May Hayward particularly impressed as the slightly too honest Brigitta Von Trapp.
The sets designed by Gary McCann were simply stunning. Every set was highly detailed and looked solidly built. The sets had been designed to make good use of the large raked stage and they were changed quickly, with minimal transition. The costumes, also by Gary McCann were again very well made and designed. They felt in keeping with the era and were very detailed, even some of the costumes which only had a very small amount of stage time were expertly made. It is aspects like this, especially in touring shows, that really improve a production and add to the audience’s enjoyment.
The lighting was effective on the set with some parts of the set being illuminated and backlit. At several points however, the character spotlights were not at all steady and this really detracted from the show. At times characters, especially the children, were not lit up enough whilst others had a spotlight during scenes of no huge importance.
This latest production of The Sound of Music was certainly performed excellently from the whole cast. If you are a fan of this classic musical or a complete newcomer it is a simple yet lovely story. Perfect for families and introducing children to the theatre. Grab a ticket to this show and add it to your list of ‘My Favourite Things’.
The Sound of Music UK Tour is playing at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley until the 13th January 2018 and then it begins its UK Tour. For tickets at the Churchill Theatre click here.
For more information about further venues and tickets see: http://www.kenwright.com/microsite/the-sound-of-music-2018/#theshow
Photo Credit: Cast of 2016 photographs from http://www.kenwright.com