The Sound of Music (Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage)
The Sound Of Music is arguably one of the best loved musicals of all time. I have to admit that I haven’t actually even seen the film - it simply never appealed. However, after seeing this production, the film is now on the must-see list.
With such memorable songs as My Favourite Things, Sixteen Going On Seventeen, Do-Re-Mi and, of course, The Sound Of Music, this is a show that will appeal across the generations.
With a backdrop of Nazi-occupied Austria, Gordon Craig’s in-house production tells the love story between a noviciate nun, Maria (Natalie Blenford) and a widowed naval captain and father of seven Georg Von Trapp (Lawrence Stubbings), who vents the grief of losing his wife by running his household like he runs his battleships. This production boasts a musically talented cast, especially the younger children, (particularly impressive was Archie Cade who portrayed Kurt).
Of course, the score is Rodgers & Hammerstein’s most evocative and many in the audience will have been surprised by how many songs they actually knew.
In comparison to slick West End shows, the scene transitions seemed somewhat slow and there was quite a bit of sitting in the dark waiting for the “men in black” to adjust the sets; inevitably, these issues made the performance drag on a bit. All in all, though, a thoroughly engaging performance from a multi-aged and disciplined cast.