South Hill Park will be filled with The Sound of MusicBy Becky Barnes
April 26, 2012
Bracknell will be alive with the sound of music next week as an iconic musical comes to town.
East Berkshire Operatic Society (EBOS) presents The Sound of Music at The Wilde Theatre, following six months of intense rehearsals.
“We are the first amateur society to be given the performance licence in East Berkshire,” says director Jenny Brown.
“Our production is not as sugary as the film though – it’s really a story about faith and national pride.”
Emily Austin will star as Maria, a nun sent to look after seven children who have lost their mother.
Made famous by Julie Andrews in the 1965 film, Maria is a breath of fresh air for the Von Trapp children, charming them with songs like My Favourite Things and Do-Re-Mi.
As the children skip around the Austrian hills in clothes made from curtains, Maria becomes the mother figure they are longing for.
But with social pressures, conflicting emotions and the Second World War looming, the idyllic world of the Von Trapps could soon be destroyed forever.
“Emily is very talented, with a stunning voice,” says Jenny. “She will be playing a character with a great amount of depth and rapport with another character, the Captain.”
The sincere Captain von Trapp, whose coldness is melted by the arrival of Maria, will be played by Adrian McDougall, of Blackeyed Theatre Company.
“He’s very well-known in the area and we are absolutely delighted to have him,” says Jenny.
Anna McCormack, who has played a role in every EBOS production in the last 12 years, will play the Mother Abbess. “She’s a very talented lady,” says Jenny.
“We also have two teams of children who have come from far and wide and are all involved in local theatre.”
Audiences will see Robyn Heffer playing Liesel, Mark Read playing Rolf, Damian Thomas playing Max, and Jenny Green acting the role of the Baroness.
“There is a wealth of talent,” says Jenny. “Damian Thomas is very witty and Robyn has been very faithful in attending rehearsals with the children.
“And there are three sturdy nuns to back up the Mother Abbess.”
The operatic society, which celebrates its jubilee year alongside the Queen, has taken an eco-friendly approach to the set design.
Designer Victoria Spearing has transformed the South Hill Park Christmas set, which folds out like a book, for this production.
Jenny says: “The house set will become the Von Trapp villa. The ugly sisters’ boudoir will become the abbey cloisters. It’s a great way to recycle and avoid transporting a set from somewhere far away.”
The re-painted set will be lit by South Hill Park lighting designer Alan Valentine, who, according to Jenny, is ‘worth his weight in gold’.
As for costumes, EBOS has a bulging wardrobe which has provided most of the items needed.
The dancing has been choreographed by Natalie Oatham and the orchestra will be under Anton Gwilt.
Looking forward to the opening night, Jenny encourages the whole family to go along to the show, inviting musical fans to ‘come and experience a timeless classic of musical drama on your doorstep’.
n The Sound of Music will show at the Wilde Theatre at South Hill Park in Bracknell from Tuesday, May 1, to Saturday, May 5, with two performances on Saturday, at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets range from £12.50 to £15 and concessions are available. To book call (01344) 484 123.