Grand Opera House York until Saturday 20th April 2019.
Reviewed by Marcus Richardson
The Sound of Music is a timeless classic, with Julie Andrews playing the iconic Maria in the film. The show follows Maria, a postulant, who has trouble conforming to the Abbey life, so she is sent away to be the governess of seven children. York Stage Musicals have decided to bring this show to life at the York Grand Opera House. YSM is one of several amateur dramatic groups with a very good reputation. The last show I saw of theirs was Priscilla Queen of the Desert, which I enjoyed, so I did go into this show with some high expectations, that’s for sure.
The whole cast worked incredibly as a chorus, with the nuns opening the numbers with, what I can only describe as an angelic performance. Although the nuns open the show with saintly songs we soon meet Maria played by Joanne Theaker, who has previous extensive experience with YSM. We first meet the character as she sings The Sound of Music; Theaker, maybe just a wee bit older than the original Maria, does a splendid job of creating a character that is both gentle and adventurous, but then again how do you describe a character like Maria?
The Von Trapp children were played by team So La Ti Do on the night I went to watch the show, with Liesl being played by Louise Henry every night of the run. The children do an incredible job on stage both singing Do-Re-Me and having enough presence to create characters and be seen by the audience. The father of the Von Trapp family is played by Callum O’Connell, who at first is cold and uniformed, but as the play goes on we see him open up and fall in love. Now although the whole cast sang amazingly, I do have to note the ability of Rowan Kitchen, who played the Mother Abbess, she is only 21 years old, what a spectacular voice.
The stage was simple and was decorated by six pillars, the only negative thing I have to note about the stage is that the steps are too deep, which made it look a bit odd as some of the children struggled to climb up the steps, and some of the nuns struggling up the stairs. The costumes were just as you could expect from The Sound of Music, nothing looked out of place or wrong. The scene changes took a bit longer than I wanted, however this is very minor.
It was just as good as my previous experience with YSM, the standard of their performances are incredibly high considering it’s am-dram. I would completely recommend this show as it’s a classic you can sing along to and enjoy the music. Eggsellent show to catch for this Easter weekend.