The Sound of Music
26th May – 2nd June 2012
Photographs from the show by Alan Martin – see more by clicking here…
NODA – Patricia Connor, Region 6 Representative
Well it would be daft of me to write about the story line of this show! It really needs no introduction, I’m sure you would agree.
But the introduction to this particular presentation that was by way of the clever use of an open set inside the Abbey with the Nuns going about their daily business and chores, this made for a fabulous ambience, thereby setting a somewhat comforting yet inquisitive feeling wondering what other ingenious ideas were in store. I have to admit I’ve not seen this done before and how clever it was.
Liz Clarke (Artistic Director) certainly had her finger on the pulse from the word go, obvious experience shining through, with lots of clever decisions made when choosing and setting the characterisations of the cast.
Along with the expertise of Mandy Evans (Choreographer), between them formed a dream team creating some really effective scenes with good movement, use of the set, effervescence when it was needed, comedy when it was needed, romance when it was needed, all in all getting the right moods for the right moments, whilst also making the best use possible from the facilities that the Little Theatre had to offer.
For Tom Chester,( Musical Director) I believe this was his debut as M.D for B.O.S. for this I must congratulate him for taking such a show as this on. Had I not been told, I don’t think I would have guessed, as he commanded the Orchestra well, creating just the right sound for the “Sound of Music” score, being careful not to overpower the cast which can sometimes happen when playing for such a well known show.
Heather Lewis (Maria) played delightfully, wringing every emotion possible out of her role from scene to scene, with fine voice and obvious acting experience managed to make “Maria” her own, never putting a foot wrong and making it totally believable, having an obvious bond with the children – so important – so well done.
Stephen Bennett (Captain von Trapp) gave a great all round performance and was very well suited to this part. So many Von Trapps’ can “over-do” it as in becoming too domineering and bolshie; but not in this case. I found that Stephen (probably by good direction) both in acting and singing ability, was endearing from the start and it was easy to warm to the character that he portrayed. In my view, just right!
A great performance from Brian Williams (Max Detwieller); good stage presence, comedy timing and obvious experience needs to go hand in hand with this role and he certainly had all of that, alongside Natalie Audoire (Elsa Schraeder) who had a perfect voice, whilst showing a lovely portrayal of the true nature of a “totally unsuitable match to the Captain” well projected throughout.
All of the supporting roles were well cast and each in their own individual roles brought something to the stage, managing to uphold the characters really well.
The children were just fabulous, every single one of them worked their socks off! Managing to uphold their concentration throughout, each of them totally engrossed in creating their own little character. They all sang well, acted well and danced well and above all made it clear that they were a real family. Well done to all of them. All budding actors and actresses that should be nurtured and given more encouragement, these little people are the future possible leading roles.
Mother Abbess deserves a special mention as this is a quite difficult role to fill, one which Lisa Tatler made her own and she was perfect for the part with superb voice and totally lived up to the expectation of such an Iconic role, particularly her rendition of “Climb Every Mountain” was both spot on! c All of the Nuns sang beautifully and looked like the real thing!
Indeed the whole of the supporting choral members of the cast should be proud of the fact that they performed superbly; there’s not much to do in this show for “chorus” and sometimes this can lead to a obviously bored and uninterested “chorus” but I must say that this did not happen at all, the cast raised their game and gave great performances throughout!
Congratulations to all of the technicians, stage manager and crew, sound and lighting who without it, the show just can’t go on! All of the scenery and props changes, lighting queues and sound were very prompt and seamless. Costumes were pristine and attention to details was excellent so well done wardrobe!
Well Done to all of the Front of House Staff, it can be a thankless task herding audience and generally getting them to and from their seats etc.
Overall, I would like to congratulate the whole company… committee, production team, cast, crew and from back-to-front of house for a great show, here’s to many more for you and finally, thank you for your welcome and hospitality. I look forward to seeing you all again.