Review: Bracknell is alive with the Sound of MusicBy Steph Davies
May 08, 2012
Watching The Sound of Music at the Wilde Theatre in Bracknell was like re-visiting an old and treasured friend.
I hadn’t seen the film for many years, and have never seen the musical on stage, so it was a real pleasure to rediscover the delights of this superb story, staged by East Berkshire Operatic Society and directed by Jenny Brown.
I was beaming right from the opening bars of music, as we went through all those much-loved Rodgers and Hammerstein songs – How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, My Favourite Things, Something Good and, of course, the joyous title song.
When I wasn’t beaming I was crying – actually sometimes both at the same time – as the Captain sang the poignant Edelweiss, and the Mother Abbess sent the family on their way with the show-stopping Climb Ev’ry Mountain.
Anna McCormack was perfectly cast as the Mother Abbess, enriching the role with her fine, strong voice, while Adrian McDougall was a pleasing Captain von Trapp. The greatest plaudits must, however, go to Emily Austin who was, quite simply, wonderful as Maria. She was on sparkling form, completely making the role her own and enchanting us with her exquisite singing.
And, of course, we mustn’t forget the children – where would The Sound of Music be without the children? Robyn May was a lovely Liesl, while the other six were delightful as they charmed both Maria and the audience. Mention should be made too of the excellent musical accompaniment under musical director Anton Gwilt, a treat all by itself.
This was a perfect evening’s entertainment, and definitely one for all the family.
EBOS is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee this year and its next presentation will be Sondheim’s Into The Woods at the Wilde Theatre in July. In November its Diamond Jubilee production, also at the Wilde, will be Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers, complete with tap-dancing penguins, live ponies, and an on-stage ski slope.