News Column

Stunning show is huge triumph for theatre company

July 4, 2013


IT'S no mean undertaking to stage a full-scale production of one of the greatest of all musicals.

The Arts Theatre have gone ahead and done it. They have a hit on their hands.

Besides all that famous and well-loved music, The Sound of Music tells a sturdy and compelling love story set against the backdrop of the 1938 Austrian Anschluss with Nazi Germany.

This production features wonderful choral as well as solo work.

Diction is good, and the sound balance is done well: you can hear every word of the lyrics. This is clear from the start with the nuns singing the Preludium in front of an Abbey backcloth; it's a lovely sound.

Joanna Hoyes is a splendid Maria and Mark Coffey-Bainbridge's Captain Von Trapp, is a disciplinarian with a pencil moustache. Rolf (Tom Hopcroft, Tuesday) has a good solo voice. He does a beautifully choreographed song and dance with Leisl (Lily Taylor-Ward, Tuesday) - choreography for the whole evening is outstanding.

The first half draws to a tremendous close with Irene Starkie (The Mother Abbess) and her Climb Every Mountain.

The children are some of the most talented people in the show.

Although projection in the bustling party scene is generally a bit problematic, the Tuesday Team children, who are present, are great at singing So Long, Farewell.

Costumes and hairstyles are superb. Scenery and set changing is pleasing and effective. Sound effects are excellent.

Even if you've spent the last 50 years successfully avoiding The Sound of Music you have to concede this is a triumph for the People's Theatre Company and director Maggie Andrew.

Until Saturday.

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