The Sound of Music

Edinburgh Playhouse

5-9 Jan

Stagecraft: 5 Libretto : 5 Performance four-stars


A classic is a classic, there’s no doubting that, from Tchaikovsky’s ‘Eugene Onegin’ to Sylvester’s ‘Do You Wanna Funk,’ & there is something equally as primally brilliant in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s ‘Sound of Music.’ Yet with any theatrical production, the script or libretto counts only towards the spectator’s experience, & it is up to any particular troupe to deliver the residual genius in a classic. Luckily, Bill Kenwright’s touring version is completely top-notch & whether an old skool fan or post-millennium baby, this musical is sublime in its majesty.

The story is that of the Von Trapp family; Captain Von Trapp, his seven children & Maria Rainer, a troublesome nun sent to govern the children. In the wake of the death of their mother, she brings love, light & music into a gloomy household, resulting in some of the very best of Rodgers & Hammerstein. From the moment the abbey pillars descend onto stage to the nuns singing celestial ‘Alleluia,‘ we are swept into the heart of the Austrian Alps with a striking realism. From here those famous, famous songs are delivered pitch-perfect with Lucy O’Byrne a sensation as Maria.

Full of the most beautiful moments, this production contains the seeds for a joyous soar of the soul, with excellent choreography, darling child-actors & a nifty supporting cast, all set against excellent backdrops. The highlight for me was the stunning ‘Do-Re-Mi,’in which Maria teaches the children the musical scale. The handling of the sentiment of pre-anschluss Austria & its nervy aftermath were also done with a keen relish. Mark Fischer told the Mumble, ‘In outline, the story told in the Sound of Music is similar to what actually happened. To make a good tale even better, the stage version is romanticised, simplified & compressed, but it also has much in common with reality.‘ The Sound of Music serves not just as a glorious spectacle, but also as an accurate historical document. Pleasure-bringing singing & academic education is a heady mix, which all of us should witness soon.

Reviewer : Damo Bullen




One thought on “The Sound of Music

  1. The production absolutely fabulous…but for me the Mother Superior singing Climb every Mountain was exceptional..!!…beautiful voice…and those high notes at end of song..well..hairs standing on back of neck time..!!!

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