The Sound Of Music

18 December 2015 | 4:25 pm | Shaun Colnan

"Amy Lehpamer breathes new life into Maria, one of the most beloved characters of stage and screen."

Rodgers and Hammerstein's iconic musical The Sound of Music returns to our shores in a fresh and wonderfully imagined production at the Capitol Theatre. Though the story of the von Trapp family we all know and love remains the same, this new production is a visceral, larger than life redux in the grandest of settings. The ensemble performances, especially those of the von Trapp children, are vivacious and inspired.

As with any adroit West End musical, the choreography is performed artfully, the musical numbers are boisterous and the set design is peerless in its ornament and seamlessness. Amy Lehpamer breathes new life into Maria, one of the most beloved characters of stage and screen. She is gracefully brash, fleet-footed and fearless, donning with ease those well worn shoes Dame Julie Andrews slipped on 50 years ago. Her counterpart is not Cameron Daddo, who gives an underwhelming portrayal of the von Trapp patriarch. No, the true chemistry is ignited by the seven children.

The supporting cast is a mixed bag of stellar performances and limited characterisations. Marina Prior has little room to move as the one-dimensional Baroness Schraeder. David James is detestable as the lascivious Max Detweiler and Lorraine Bayly moves laboriously about the stage spilling silly quips as Frau Schmidt. Jacqueline Dark, on the other hand, brings down the house with her rendition of Climb Ev'ry Mountain.

Every new scene is charged with a visual feast that stretches past the realms of stage, creating a magical scope for the imagination written in the mountains beyond. But it's the classics drawing the crowds. There is no greater thrill for a Sound Of Music fan than to be transported back to childhood, as the theatre swells with numbers such as Do-Re-Mi and My Favourite Things.

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