I can only image a terrific challenge ensues when a company takes on The Sound of Music and here we have a touring company setting themselves up. After all everyone knows the story. Aside from the movie the musical has been released for am dram, we have West End versions, a peak TV casting series as well as movie revivals and sing –a- longs. So high expectations when the production came to Edinburgh Playhouse for the best part of a week in a cold wet January. Not that directors can deviate from the known and loved script and songs we can only comment on performance here?
I shouldn’t have been surprised as Lucy O’Byrne is a superb Maria and let’s face it she will always be compared to Julie Andrews or at least Carrie Fisher. Gray O’Brien handles the Captain Von Trapp role with ease exactly as it was envisaged and with a hint of Rex Harrison at his shoulder and Jan Hartley shows her experience in opera and musical theatre with her breathtaking position as Mother Abbess with perhaps the most demanding of all vocals in Climb Ev’ry Mountain. What about the Von Trapp children you say? Well as always a whole team of children cast circulates performances and (on the night I was there) all were outstanding in both song and movement. The show moves along swiftly and slickly between scenes helped by a classic soundtrack of My Favourite Things, Do-Re-Mi, Sixteen Going On Seventeen, Edelweiss and So Long, Farewell.
Every since its inception this has been a feel good musical and that was demonstrated this week in a drenched Edinburgh. The audience were singing the songs during the overture and were up for a good time and for the youngsters enjoying this for the first time what an introduction to musical theatre. Everyone left with a smile and still with the wonderful music in the head from this joyous production.
Edinburgh Playhouse till January 9