Manchester’s Palace Theatre is well and truly alive with THE SOUND OF MUSIC
Whether you’re familiar with the original Broadway musical or the classic 1965 film starring Julie Andrews, THE SOUND OF MUSIC remains a timeless classic. Now in its 59th year, the musical continues to enchant audiences across the world, with the latest touring production once again cementing its place in our popular culture.
Based on the real-life story of the von Trapp family, THE SOUND OF MUSIC tells the story of trainee nun Maria who is appointed governess to Captain Von Trapp’s seven children. The musical follows the family’s story from their romantic beginnings to their daring escape to freedom following Austria’s occupation by the Nazis.
From the beautiful costumes to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s timeless score, every inch of THE SOUND OF MUSIC is a feast for the eyes and ears. Even Gary McCann’s deceptively complex set is wonderfully lavish, effortlessly moving the action from the Von Trapp family house, to the huge arches of the Abbey and eventually, the stage at the Kaltzberg Music Festival.
Lucy O’Byrne makes a welcome return to the iconic role of Maria, delivering a flawless vocal performance. Her endless charm, gusto and grace makes her instantly likeable and despite having big shoes to fill thanks to Julie Andrews’ award-winning performance, firmly establishes the role as her own.
The highlight of the show is, of course, the von Trapp children who deliver a delightful and charming performance. From DO-RE-MI to SO LONG, FAREWELL, the children sing with charm and emotion with Katie Shearman in particular standing out as eldest child Liesl for her sweet and endearing duet with Rolf (played by Jordan Oliver) in SIXTEEN GOING ON SEVENTEEN.
Elsewhere EastEnders and West End star Neil McDermott gives a strong vocal performance as Captain von Trapp but comes across a little wooden in his performance. While he certainly looks the part, his portrayal, which suddenly jumps from distant and aloof to warm and loving, feels a little misplaced and awkward at times.
That said, there is plenty to love in this production and Rogers and Hammerstein’s score never gets old with iconic songs such as EDELWEISS, MY FAVORITE THINGS, DO-RE-MI, SO LONG FAREWELL and of course, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, all going down well with the audience.
A special mention also must go to Megan Llewellyn as Mother Abbess whose performance of CLIMB EV’RY MOUNTAIN at the end of act one is simply outstanding, earning her a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience at the end of the show.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC runs at the Palace Theatre, Manchester until 17 March 2018.
Donna is the Founder and Editor of Frankly, My Dear UK. By day, she works as a digital marketing specialist, by night she reviews film, theatre and music for a wide range of publications including WhatsonStage and The Reviews Hub. Loves Formula 1, prosecco and life.