The Sound of Music review: a brilliant, charming and fun-filled performance of the classic musical
- Credit: Josh Oram
The Norfolk Youth Music Theatre took to the stage at the Norwich Playhouse last night for their debut performance of The Sound of Music.
Roger and Hammerstein's musical which is based on a true story has been delighting audiences since it was first performed on Broadway in 1959. This was also true of last night's performance which saw all generations head to the Norwich Playhouse. Set in the mountains of Austria as the Second World War looms, a nun Maria becomes a governess for the seven children of a strict father, Captain Georg von Trapp.
Last night's performance by the Norfolk Youth Music Theatre included performers from the age of eight to twenty-five years old. Intrigued as to how such a young cast would pull of a musical with so many adult characters, it was wonderful to see that they managed it so well. With the professionalism that they graced the stage with, it was easy to forget this was a youth theatre group performance.
From the nuns' opening song, the audience were whisked away to the Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg, Austria. This set a high standard for the singing which throughout was beyond impressive. This young cast have incredibly powerful voices that hit all the high notes. It was obvious that the cast were enjoying performing the delightful and catchy songs which added to the feel-good factor of the story. It should be noted that there are a couple of extra songs in the stage version that were cut from the 1965 film; it was lovely to see these included.
The acting was as equally impressive as the singing; the characters were really brought to life on stage. They were as lovable as they are in the film version, especially Maria, Georg and the children who were adorable. Of course, Uncle Max added the humour with his materialistic jokes. It was nice to see such a great bond between the cast members which really helped with the portrayal of the family dynamics (even if Georg is a bit strict to begin with!). The romances were believable and heart-felt too. The revelations towards the end still have the ability to shock an audience, even when they know what to expect.
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A nod must be given to the musical direction, sound effects and lighting which all added to the performance and especially the drama towards the end. The costumes were also very authentic.
There were a few tiny mistakes - it is one of those things that is bound to happen on opening night - but nothing that deducted from the narrative or the actors and actresses who weren't even fazed which further proved their professionalism.
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The performance had all the charm and drama that is to be expected from The Sound of Music. The talent of these young performers stretches way beyond their years. It was lovely to see such a brilliant, charming and fun-filled performance of this classic musical which was thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated by the audience.
•The Sound Of Music is on at the Norwich Playhouse from 18th – 20th April.