MORE than 40 men, women and children will line up for the latest production by the People's Theatre Company at Nottingham Arts Theatre next week. Family favourite The Sound of Music will run at the George Street theatre from July 2 to 7 and features children as young as six from across the region.
I love Maria's ability to be totally carefree and silly, says Joanna Hoyes, 19, from West Bridgford of her lead role.
In a world that's changing a lot at this time in Austria she still finds a way to have fun and she passes that on to the children. She's a very clever person without really knowing it, adds Joanna, who was last seen on the Arts Theatre stage as the principal boy in the award-winning production of Puss In Boots. Of the rehearsals, she says: It's lovely to feel like a family is forming.
The Sound of Music retells the true story of the Trapp family based in Salzburg, Austria just before the outbreak of the Second World War.
The musical was first brought to the Broadway stage in 1959 and became a hit film starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer six years later.
I'm so proud of all my cast and crew, says director Maggie Andrew.
They are all working really hard and pulling together really well.
One of the 19 children in the cast is ten-year-old Milly Evans from Carrington, who plays Brigitta Von Trapp.
When asked what she most enjoys about her role she says: Everything! Says Maggie: The children say they have learned so much during rehearsals and for some this will be the first time they have performed on a stage.
For many it will be the first time they have been in a show alongside adult performers.
Local musician Josh Kemp provides the musical direction.
I'm really enjoying working with such a diverse cast from the sweet and innocent Von Trapp children to the strong powerful voices of the nuns' choir, he says.
Irene Starkie, who stars as Mother Abbess, first appeared on a production of The Sound Of Music in 1978, playing Maria.
To prepare for my audition I did actually dig out the rehearsal tapes from back then so I could practice, she admits.
The musical marks the 60th anniversary at Nottingham Arts Theatre for Eve Gurd (Sister Berthe) who was a child performer in Vaughan Williams' Hugh the Drover in 1953. There are performances at 7.30pm with weekend matinees at 2pm. Tickets are Pounds 14 adults and Pounds 12 concessions from Nottingham Arts Theatre Box Office on 0115 947 6096 during office hours or buy online at www.nottingham- theatre.co.uk. They are also on sale at the Nottingham Tourism Centre on Smithy Row.
How do you solve a problem like Maria? AS the nuns from Nonnberg Abbey sing the morning chant one of the postulants, named Maria Rainer, is on the nearby mountainside regretting leaving the beautiful hills where she was raised and, getting lost in her emotions, she returns late to the abbey.
The Mother Abbess and the other nuns can see there is a problem with Maria that they need to solve but are unsure what they can do.
When Maria returns she explains her lateness and apologises for singing in the garden without permission.
The Mother Abbess joins her in song and tells her that she should spend some time outside the abbey to decide whether she is ready for the monastic life.
She will act as the governess to the seven children of Austro- Hungarian Navy submarine Captain Georg von Trapp and, as they say, the rest is history.
'' She still finds a way to have fun and she passes that on to the children Joanna Hoyes
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