Little Theatre Company

Live theatre in the heart of Burton upon Trent

The Sound of Music

by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II

Performed: November 2012

The Sound of Music by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II

Review by Dave Stacey

The German invasion of Austria in 1938 might have seemed an unlikely background for a musical – yet it was the setting for some of the happiest and most moving and beautiful Rodgers and Hammerstein songs.

Their lovely masterpiece, The Sound of Music, is being presented this week at Burton Brewhouse arts centre by the Little Theatre Company to enthusiastic and appreciative audiences.

I am sure I was by no means alone in being moved to tears by this heart-warming epic, a reasonably accurate version of the true tale on which it was based.

The joyful ensemble singing of the seven who played the children of the Von Trapp family – led by Katie Haywood as their governess Maria – was the highlight of the show. They delighted everyone with their rendition of gems like Do-Re-Mi, My Favourite Things, The Lonely Goatherd and So Long, Farewell.

The talented seven, who no doubt trained long and hard to give such spirited performances, were Jodie Durbin, Wil Pearson, Fiona Waite, Katie Ireland, Ewan Bourne, Saffron Ratcliffe and Emily Haywood.

Jodie as the eldest of the young Von Trapps excelled in that matchless growing-up anthem, Sixteen Going on Seventeen.

Katie Haywood’s performance vividly illustrated the emotional anguish of a would-be nun who found it hard to fit into the rigid rule of religious order and instead found strength in her love of the children, of a man, and of the beautiful countryside outside the Abbey.

The Little Theatre Company’s wonderfully accomplished director, John Bowness, added to his usual duties with a fine portrayal of Captain Von Trapp himself, first as a lonely and loveless widower. Then as a proud and loving father, and as a patriot with his face set firmly against German aggression and oppression.

Jane German as the kindly Mother Abbess led the nuns in singing about their problem postulant Maria and gave a tremendous solo of Climb E’vry Mountain.

Musical director was Katie Hailstone.

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