The Sound of Music, 20th to 23rd February 2019
A heartwarming story, based on the true story of the Von Trapp Family singers, one of the world's best-known concert groups in the era immediately preceding World War II. Maria, a tomboyish postulant at an Austrian abbey becomes a governess in the home of a widowed naval captain with seven children, and brings a new love of life and music into the home.
John O' Gaunt College Hall, Priory Road, Hungerford RG17 0AN.
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Review of The Sound of Music
20th to 23rd February 2019
Review from the Newbury Weekkly News.
Alive with the sound of music
Colourful town production of Rodgers and Hammerstein musical
Community of Hungerford Theatre Group: The Sound of Music, at John O’ Gaunt School Hall, Hungerford, from Wednesday, February 20 to Saturday, February 23
The Sound of Music was the last collaboration between the highly-successful partnership of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. As usual, it featured timeless music that has lived on and on and, in this case was based on a true story: the von Trapps of Austria during the Second World War.
Well, I say true story, but it was considerably tinkered with as von Trapp bad 10 children not seven and Maria arrived as a tutor to one child and not as governess to them all. And the family didn't escape across the mountains carrying suitcases, but took a train to Italy.
As to this production, Zoe Hobbs did well as Maria, the abbey postulant who leaves to become a governess to naval officer Captain von Trapp and his seven children. She was convincing as a girl struggling with both her religion and her feelings.
She had a good singing voice, as did Gareth Burgess as Captain von Trapp, an actor who conveyed the many sides of the character he played.
The part of Liesl was well-played by Martha Gayer on the night we attended; another actor shared the role on alternate performances.
The other six children were also very good, well-rehearsed, with good movement and convincing speech. Julie Gower gave a studied performance as the Mother Abbess, with strong support from Karen Ash by as Sister Berthe and Tessa Brown as Sister Margaretta. Elsa was portrayed well as the self-seeking person she was by Rouska Westall and Max came to life in Tim Beckwith's performance.
All of the many small parts were well acted and stage movement throughout was very good.
The many scenes in the show were sponsored by local shops and businesses and TCHTC had some fine backdrops to add to the scenery. This was a very bright, visual show, in terms of both costume and scenery. It was well done throughout, with many dress and scene changes required, some within a few minutes. Costumes were colourful, many and varied, so a special well done to the wardrobe team.
The direction and choreography was well handled by David Clayton, with assistance from Rouska Westall, although pacing could have been faster and time shaved off many long musical sequences as, at three hours, this production was just a bit too long.
With so much hard work and talent on display though, this was a minor quibble and the production overall was a big success.
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