The Sound of Music

February 21, 2018 | By | Reply More

★★★★☆   Timeless classic

Edinburgh Playhouse: Tue 20 – Sat 24 Feb 2018
Review by Sarah Moyes

It may be a cliché, but Edinburgh is definitely “alive with the Sound of Music” once again as the classic musical returns to the Playhouse.

It’s been almost 60 years since The Sound of Music first opened on Broadway and, thanks to Julie Andrews’ portrayal of Maria von Trapp in the film version six years later, the musical has cemented itself in our popular culture ever since.

Neil McDermott and Lucy O’Byrne. Pic: Brian McEvoy

This true story is set in Austria where Maria becomes governess to the von Trapp family after failing in her attempts to become a nun. It’s here she falls in love with the seven von Trapp children and later their widowed father, Captain von Trapp. As the Nazis move in across Austria, the family are forced to flee their home heading over the Alps to safety.

Stepping into Julie Andrews’ shoes would be a challenge for anyone, but runner-up of The Voice Lucy O’Byrne does it with ease and grace. She first took on the role in 2016 and once again lights up the stage as she reprises the iconic part for the show’s latest tour.

She’s utterly joyous to watch as she brings music and love back into the von Trapp family. At the same time, her Maria is not scared to stand up to Captain Von Trapp and brings humour to the role as she tries to understand his whistle system for calling his family.

note perfect

Musically, it’s easy to see how O’Byrne has been able to make a name for herself in musical theatre. From the opening title song to My Favourite Things, Lucy is note perfect and each song is sung beautifully.

Lucy O’Byrne and the Von Trapp children. Pic: Brian McEvoy

EastEnders and West End star Neil McDermott gives a strong performance at Captain von Trapp, although he does come across as a bit wooden and awkward at times. However as the second half of the show gets underway, it’s nice to see the cold exterior of his character melt away and he falls in love with Maria and starts to sing.

It wouldn’t be The Sound of Music without the von Trapp children who all provide delightful and charming performances. Katie Shearman is excellent in the role of eldest child Liesl. Her duet Sixteen Going On Seventeen with Rolf (played by Jordan Oliver) is sweet and endearing. Matched with some simple choreography from Bill Deamer, it’s a welcome change from all the marching.

The show is filled with some of musical theatre’s most-loved songs that it’s difficult to pick out any favourites; however the numbers where all the children are on the stage like Do-Re-Mi and So Long, Farewell are nothing short of brilliant.

A special mention must also be given to Pippa Winslow in the role of the Mother Abbess who receives the biggest cheer of the night for her rendition of Climb Ev’ry Mountain.

The show is brought to life by an impressive set design. It completely transforms the theatre and is so grand that at times it’s almost as if you are inside the Nonnberg Abbey with the nuns.

The Sound of Music has become a classic over the years. And this latest production by Bill Kenwright will no doubt bring a whole new audience to discover its magic.

Running time: 2 hours and 20 minues (including interval)
Edinburgh Playhouse, 18 – 22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA. Phone booking: 0844 871 3014
Tuesday 20 – Saturday 24 February 2018.
Evenings: 7.30pm; Matinees Wed, Thurs, Sat: 2.30pm.
Tickets and details.


The Sound of Music on tour 2018:
20 – 24 Feb Edinburgh
0800 9126971 Book online
27 Feb – 3 Mar Tunbridge Wells
Assembly Hall
0189 2530613 Book online
6 – 10 Mar Portsmouth
King’s Theatre
023 92828282 Book online
13 – 17 Mar Manchester
Palace Theatre
0333 0095390 Book online


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