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Newbury Musical Theatre Society - The Sound of Music

9th to 13th April 2013.

Review from the Newbury Weekly News.

The aisles are alive...

Newbury Musical Theatre Society; The Sound of Music, at the Corn Exchange, from Tuesday, April 5 to Saturday, April 13

Musical theatre is very popular and some productions are special because of their scores. Like many, I love the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein and this show contains some of their very best compositions.

NMTS began their new life, after being an operatic society for more than 90 years, with their fourth production of the famous von Trapp family saga.

From the opening chorus, this was a slick, polished production with the nuns of the Nonnberg Abbey singing brightly, followed by the rich, melodic voice of Debbi Ledwith, singing The Sound of Music, and looking just right in the part.

The pace was brisk throughout, with never a visible moment of hesitation - a tribute to the hard work and skills of choreographer .leanette Maskell and the overall direction of Sarah Scott. The leading parts were all played vigorously and sung with conviction.

Debbi Ledwith moved across the stage graciously and was full of vitality in the scenes with the children; so much so mat she almost overbalanced at one point - but recovered swiftly.

The male lead, John Lovell as Capt. George von Trapp, had much less to do but did it well, moving with poise, and using the stage at all times. Lucie Dale was a fine Liesl, Ben Perks a lively Rolf and Cathy Rands was believable as the Mother Abbess. The children - at least the Hammerstein brigade on Thursday evening - were well cast. Other youngsters played on different nights. Some of the actors in more minor roles acted well but were a little self-conscious. It isn't easy, but with each musical number performed in good voice by all and crisp accompaniment by the orchestra, directed by Michael Evans, the show fizzed and sparkled from beginning to end, generating a real feelgood factor.