The Sound of Music was originally inspired by the memoir 'The Story of the Trapp Family Singers' by Maria von Trapp. Adapted for the stage by Rodgers and Hammerstein, the show made its Broadway debut in 1959.
Six years later, 20th Century Fox released its iconic film starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, which went on to win 5 Academy Awards. 50 years on, The Sound of Music remains as popular as ever, even reaching number 4 in the American Film Institute's 100 Years of Musicals list. The lavish new production at The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton is presented by Bill Kenwright and directed by Martin Connor.
Daniella Hope (BBC's Over The Rainbow winner) stars as Maria; a postulant in an Austrian convent who loves to sing. Unfortunately her enthusiasm isn't shared by the rest of the nuns, so she is sent off to care for Captain von Trapp's (Steven Houghton) seven children. The Captain is incredibly strict, commanding his family and staff with a whistle and demanding military-style obedience. Despite having scared off all previous governesses, Maria soon wins the children over with her love of music.
Sixteen (going on seventeen) year-old Liesl von Trapp (Grace Chapman) is besotted with Rolf (Luke George), a local postman. Initially rejecting Maria's friendship, she eventually learns to trust and confide in her. While Baroness Elsa Schraeder (Sarah Soetaert) has designs on the wealthy Captain, it's Maria who starts to win his heart too. Set in 1938, there is also the ever-looming threat of Nazi occupation to contend with.
Classic songs such as 'Maria,' 'My Favourite Things', 'The Sound of Music', 'Edelweiss' and 'Do-Re-Mi' are all beautifully and powerfully performed by the cast. The von Trapp children are especially heartwarming with their rendition of 'So Long, Farewell'. Special mention also goes to Captain von Trapp and Mother Abbess (Jan Hartley) who have incredible voices.
The Sound of Music really is a drop of golden sun and a must-see show for the entire family. The cast received a standing ovation and thunderous applause for their performances. Running until 31st January at the Mayflower Theatre, it will undoubtedly become one of your favourite things!
Review by: Sarah O'Connell
Review Date: 22nd January 2015
The Sound of Music Review
Rating out of 5:
The Mayflower, Southampton