The hills were well and truly alive with the Sound of Music at the Regent Theatre last night as what was almost a full house for what can only be described as a truly enchanting evening.
The show opened with the nuns choir which was beautifully sung and set the scene for the whole show, the sets were just as beautiful with every bit detailed to complete perfection, the stunning stain glass in the Mother Abbess window was mesmerising. Talking of the Abbey the nuns were all vocally superb, every note hit made another hair stand up on the back of your neck. The person that quite frankly took my breath away was Jan Hartley as the Mother Abbess. Her rendition of Climb Every Mountain at the end of the first act left every audience member in awe of her performance. She was just charming to watch from an audience perspective, just brilliant! What made her performance all the more special is the fact she was the first ever person to play Maria on tour making the performance just even more perfect, her ovation at the end of show just proves how well she performed.
Now how do you cast the perfect Maria? There was zero problem for the casting directors when they cast Lucy O’Byrne! The girl could do no wrong every song she sang left you praying for her next. Asides from Julie Andrews she is the best Maria I've vocally ever heard. She just grew from strength to strength throughout the show and believe me when I say you’ll see her headlining West End stages for a very long time.
The Von Trapp family were simply the most adorable thing I've ever seen, every step was in time, every note was perfect, their voices blended seamlessly and the costumes they wore were delightful. I particularly liked that for the party scene the girls wore white dresses with blue satin sashes. Every detail in the show was this finely knit and it just screamed that hundreds of hours had gone in the care and perfection of every little detail.
After the interval we had an understudy bought on for Liesel, and Jude who took over in my opinion was much better she just seemed to fit the family atmosphere much better than the original Liesel. I should say however the original Liesel, Annie did sing I Am 16- Going On 17 beautifully with Rolf who was every inch as charming as the character of Rolf should be. He danced and sang the role effortlessly and did the Nazi transition to perfection but still showing his innocent naieivity, I through it he shone in his performance.
Captain Von Trapp played by Gray O’Brien was impossible not to fall in love with as an audience member, he was adorable even with a few vocal wobbles he just embodied the Captain perfectly. He was just gentlemanly and sweet but firm at the same time. His rendition of Edelweiss was tear jerking.
Overall the performance was stunning and it was probably the quickest feeling 2 hours and 45 minutes I've ever had. I'd go a million times over and never bore of the cast, they just perfected the show. I'd give it a solid 10 out of 10 and would urge anyone to go and see it and not fall in love with the magic and wonderment of the show. I'm so tempted to go again this week as it shouldn't be missed by anyone. Finally, how do you solve a problem like Maria? See this show that's how!
Reviewer: Leanne Ashworth
Reviewed: 19th January 2016