Photos – James Morgan
“Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…”
Few are strangers to the music and lyrics of The Sound of Music so it's unfathomable to comprehend that anyone could not have seen this show in one shape or form. How pleased was I when I was afforded the opportunity to not only review this stage production, but to also take a friend who had never known this family favourite until now!
The audience are donned in their 'favourite things' and the seats are filled with a mixture of people, the predominance being full (and happy) families; grandparents through to mini theatre enthusiasts, dressed in tiaras and party dresses! What a joy to see the very young attending The Sound of Music, reminiscent of attending theatre with my own mother, and the excitement I felt seeing children like myself up on stage singing and dancing, carving out their future with the magic that is theatre.
The highlight of any stage performance (for me) is seeing how they deal with costume and set design and if you are of a similar mind, this production will not disappoint. From the wonderful 'curtain clothes' of the von Trapp children to the stunning details in the Abbey walls; the marvellous staircase that sprawls on to the stage to the mountains seemingly floating in the back ground: the hills really did seem alive with the sound of music... Imagine what a challenge it must be for set and costume designer Robert Jones to encapsulate the wild, carefree frolicking through the Austrian Alps on a limited space stage (albeit the Lyric Theatre!). Set changes were seamless and the use of space was impressive, especially the doors that opened on to the 'terrace' with the mountain view. Ahhh, the mountains.
The cast were a marvellous fit for each other and convincing in their family bond. Amy Lehpamer is the quintessential Maria, shining through with her genuine positivity and believable expressions. Cameron Daddo had that mysterious Captain's charm down pat; they are a musical match made in heaven. The von Trapp children are mind-blowingly fabulous in their enthusiastic and so-professional performance, from the tiniest with cuteness factor overload, through to the eldest child.
Credit must also be given to Jacqueline Dark (playing Mother Abbess) for her phenomenally powerful voice: singing 'Climb Every Mountain' filled me with motivation to follow my dreams, as she sang-prayed for Maria, up on the stage! Portraying the gentle kindness in her character, backed by choral ensemble of nuns, she moved the audience to the edge of their seats and undoubtedly pushed us all to follow every rainbow etc etc.
Classic songs can evoke memories and hearing the children sing “My Favourite Things” made me instantly happy, transporting me back to my own childhood, and I found myself singing along to almost every song. Funny how some music can creep in to your soul without you really knowing it, and although my partner had never seen The Sound of Music, even he knew the words to sing along!
Accompanied by an orchestra (lead by musical director Luke Hunter) that's sound was full and vibrant, this show never has a dull moment, with the time-tested music of Roger's and Hammerstein given full embrace. The Sound of Music, a classic and timeless as the Alps themselves, continues to inspire and move, and begs the question to old and new audiences alike: “how do you solve a problem like Maria?”
Andrew Lloyd Webber, John Frost, David Ian and the Really Useful Group present
The Sound of Music
Rodgers and Hammerstein
Director Jeremy Sams
Venue: Lyric Theatre, QPAC | Grey St, South Brisbane
Dates: 11 March – 24 April 2016
Tickets: $140.90 – $69.90
Bookings: qpac.com.au | 136 246