The Sound Of Music

St Philips AODS

Until Saturday

This classic Rodgers and Hammerstein piece never dates and its fabulous score never fails in impress with its melodic tones and tear-jerking lyrics that have been in our midst since 1965. St Philips AODS put their all in to reminding audiences of the Vonn Trapp family story and the struggles they faced during the uncertain times of the years leading up to World War Two.

The chorus of Nuns set the pace with great sounding vocals and we are soon introduced to Maria, played with confidence and consistency by Catherine Cropper.

Catherine’s vocals were on top form and effortlessly delivered.

Dean Richardson presents a convincing Captain Georg Vonn Trapp and his seven children are a delight. Rachel Slater (Liesel) works well with Adam Richardson (Rolf) with their number and dance routine for Sixteen going on Seventeen. The remaining six children, Joe Dickman (Fredrich), Kylah Green (Louisa), Ethan Birch (Kurt), Jessica Bridge (Brigitta), Mollie O’Connor (Marta) and Beatrice Whittaker (Gretl) looked just right, and with a fine rendition of So Long Farewell, much to the appreciation of the first night audience.

Teresa Harper presenting an empathetic Mother Abbess as she reverently guides Maria into making the right decision to go back and marry the man she has fallen in love with.

Support was in place by Jo Whittaker as Elsa, the short-lived fiancé of the Captain, and Martin Whittaker as Max, whose rouse to get the family to sing in a festival ends up to be their saving grace. Nice cameo performances with the delivery of their two musical numbers done well.

Peter Haslam commands as Herr Zeller, the no-nonsense militant suitably matched by Howard Clare as Admiral Von Schreiber. Their attempts to break up the family were soon scuppered leading to a break for freedom and a new start for the family.

The set was very good – versatile, well used, appropriately dressed and slick scene changes by the stage crew led to a seamless production.

Director Mina Kirkbright and Musical Director Philip Harper have produced an entertaining production, complimented by Barbara Grant’s choreography, especially the presentation of the Laendler dance.

Paul Cohen