December 2002 at Leighton Buzzard Theatre
This Rodgers and Hammerstein classic was performed by the LBCT Youth Section. Favourite songs included Do Re Mi, Edelweiss, My Favourite Things. Full costumed production, an enjoyable experience for all the family.
Review by Andy Collier, of "Three Counties Youth Theatre":
I took my place in the front row a little apprehensive as to the task that lay ahead for this talented group of young actors after hearing reports of illness etc. Very soon the atmosphere was set. Nuns appearing from everywhere and they were all acting the rather formal roles that they have been cast in! I relaxed! The opening canticles appeared to be sung a little nervously, but once these were over, the actors were able to relax and Janine Nightingale (Sister Berthe) Jenny White(Sister Marguerita) and Hannah Doerr (Sister Sophia) along with a steady and sympathetic Mother Abbess, (Laura Holmes) all performed very well, bringing out the anxiety that they all were showing over their single minded colleague. (How do you solve etc)
The nun, Maria, who was played sensitively by Georgina Vizard, who showed lots of ability as she worked her way through the huge solo role that it is. It is such a well-known role, and Georgina brought her own style of Maria into the show, which has to be done and she deserves lots of credit.
Captain Von Trapp was played by Ben Jones. His performance was a solid one, and he worked hard throughout with some excellent moves. Von Trapp's children as they do gave the show colour from the moment they make their spectacular entry to the captain's unreasonable whistling commands! The way that they started all formal and then unbent towards Maria was well done in numbers like "doe a dear" and "lonely goatherd" and each one assumed their own character with the teenage Lisel (Naomi Wilkins) the "boy" Friedrich (Iain Smith) Louisa (Emily Reeve) Kurt (Jamie Gallagher) Brigitta (Abi Allsopp) Martha (Jessica Allsopp) and plenty of "ah" factor from Gretel (Henrietta Cloake) They all sang tunefully and confidently especially Brigitta, as is essential in these roles! The housekeeper Frau Schmit (Chloe Cromack) performed well and looked the part also. The servant Franzi (Amanda Kent) played the part strongly.
Baroness Shraeder (Erin Donahue) was excellent. She portrayed the one up man ship over Maria very well. Max Detweiler (Matt Williams) came over strongly and brought out the comedy aspect of his role. He tackled the songs well. However, he needs to slow down on some of the many humerous lines that he had. These two worked well together.
Herr Zeller (Angus Drummond) was suitably authoritarian as was Admiral Von Screiber (Charlie Watkins).
Baron Elberfeld was played suitably by Charlie Toms.
The stage work went efficiently with the many changes, some quite complicated.
The various sets were brilliant and worked well and the expansive main set gave the actors plenty of scope to come and go etc. The director Sally Allsopp achieved plenty of imaginative groupings and generally used the small stage to good effect. Sally also was able to get the enormous fun of participation out of her large cast and this is all to her credit. David Allsopp's musical work was also full of excellent and musical arrangements although sometimes more live playing helps actors breathe with the music.
Lighting worked well even in the darker stages at the start of the show. Costumes were superb. There was lots of variety and several changes for the children and the ballroom scene came over very effectively especially when the stage team opened the tabs. There was everything in this show.Â Because of the well-known nature of this the best known of all shows, there is a tendency to want to achieve even more than is possible on the stage. They went a long to doing this and the whole team deserve to be congratulated.