Saturday, 17 August 2013

Daily Express - SOM Review

The more I read about this show the more I can't wait to see it. If you haven't already done so check out the video trailer in my previous post. Rarely has so much magic been captured in just 1 minute 16 seconds.

I've always wanted to see 'The Sound of Music' but for various reasons it hasn't happened until now. Maybe it was destiny that my first experience of this marvelous show would take place at Regents Park Open Air Theatre and feature the wonderful Faye Brookes.

I just hope it's not destiny that it gets rained off the day I go or that Faye is ill and unable to perform.

Here's the next review:


I WAS rather looking forward to this. What better than the greenery of Regent's Park coming alive with the sound of music?

The Rodgers and Hammerstein classic about nuns, Nazis and the all-singing Von Trapp family is an unabashed crowd-pleaser.

So it proves in Rachel Kavanaugh's lively and gloriously enjoyable new production.

Yes, the open-air setting and our unpredictable weather does mean that there may be more raindrops on roses than the average punter bargained for.

However I could barely wipe the smile off my face as the assembled nuns burst into the old favourite How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? complete with ever-so-subtle synchronised steps.

That sets the tone for the production, which is traditional rather than radical but certainly none the worse for that.

I'm not sure having Charlotte Wakefield's Maria perform the famous title song from right at the back of the theatre quite works (a few cricked necks result) but as she sweeps through to the stage it quickly becomes obvious that she pairs a clear singing voice with a likeable effervescence.

If her scattily enthusiastic Maria won't entirely wipe away the memory of Julie Andrews twirling in the Austrian hills in the 1965 film it's still impressive.

Michael Xavier is Captain Von Trapp and while he feels a little young to play the authoritarian father-of-seven he has chemistry with Wakefield and his stuffy exterior soon melts.

The children are played (with the exception of the eldest Liesl) by three different actors depending on when you go.

The ones I saw proved endearing and un-stagey while refraining from slipping into saccharine sweetness.

Faye Brookes' Liesl is less naive and more knowing than some and adds a welcome sparkiness into Sixteen Going On Seventeen.

Effective touches in the second half include Nazi officers taking up menacing positions among the audience while the whole show maintains an all-important emotional balance, with moments that bring a requisite lump to your throat.

Buy a ticket and this may well become one of your favourite things this summer.

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