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  • Review by john Murray

The Hills Are Edinburgh

Ah, the songs from The Sound Of Music. We all know them you know, So long Farewell, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, Edelweiss, Do-Re-Mi and there’s more. My Favourite Things is a real winner, then Going On Seventeen and then there’s (How Do You Solve A Problem Like) Maria as heard on the big TV show with Andrew Lloyd Webber. The Maria who stars in this Edinburgh show was runner up in The Voice when Steve McCrone won and her operatic voice makes her ideal for the range needed for all the songs in this show.

We all know the long running movie with Julie Andrews but the stage musical preceded this with great success. In recent years producer Bill Kenwright has taken over the UK Tour and added his own piece of magic. The songs are all there but in a different order to how I remember previous stage productions. The set here is magnificent as the Abbey with pillars and stained glass immediately becomes the Von Trapp household with sweeping grand staircase. The children on the night I was there were just so in unison and even looked like siblings and in line there were the perfect heights for stage presentation. Neil McDermott plays Captain Von Trapp brilliantly transforming the stern strict widower into a caring lover for Maria. He told me he loves this show and had previously played Rolf at the London Palladium but even that pales in the context of the mighty Edinburgh Playhouse with its huge stage and traditional setting, praise indeed. The live band led by David Steadman were magnificent and played a flawless overture to open the second half. With Megan Llewellan off with laryngitis the Mother Abess role went to Pippa Winslow who indeed accepted the challenge of making those operatic show stopping notes on Climb Ev’ry Mountain. This meant Tammy Davies became Frau Schmidt to great effect.

The hills are alive and well so renew your love of this great musical on this week only.

Edinburgh Playhouse till February 24th

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