Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

The Sound of Music

Wales Millennium Centre , Wales Millennium Centre , July-31-09
The Sound of Music by Wales Millennium Centre Any performance of The Sound of Music requires three essential ingredients: strong singing, delightful children and a Maria that is capable of supplanting, if only temporarily, Julia Andrews.

Fortunately The Connie Fisher Show, oops, this touring version of The Sound of Music, has all three.

Connie is perfect in the role, both as an actress and singer. At times I did wonder whether if I closed my eyes I would be able to tell this was not actually Julie Andrews, such is her bright, crystal clear voice. Her distinct style sparkles with every note from Richard Rodgers and perfectly pronounces each Oscar Hammerstein lyric.

With Andrew Lloyd Webber in the audience this was the kick off of what is certain to be a hugely successful tour – but one based so much on that leading role.

As a rule I can’t stand awful TV elimination games especially when with this one it was so obvious who would and should win. But our Connie has a platform to show her totally engaging charm and has succeeded in making the role her won, on stage at least.

I actually found her portrayal refreshingly different from the famous film role as slightly more, well, sexy and rather worldlier from glances at the Captain and exchanges with the nuns.

She seems to know what is what rather than just the innocent abroad of the film, although I thought the see through nightie that is produced from her suitcase on the eve of her wedding is a tad too much.

The children were just great. Each one has perfected their character and veered on just the right side of schmaltz.

Margaret Preece sang the show stopper Climb Every Mountain with some restraint rather than bursting our eardrums as so easily could be the case.
The rest of the cast are fine. Michael Praed is, well, Michael Praed. He can carry a tune which helps enormously and his rather wooden acting style fitted the distant character of Captain von Trapp.

Jacinta Mulcahy plays the rejected wealthy Austrian fiancée with finesse and sympathy while Martin Callaghan bounds around in a vaguely amusing way as Max Detweiler.

Jeremy Taylor is a pleasantly voiced Rolf and the duet with Claire Fishenden as Liesl is prettily done.

Jeremy Sams's production tries not to go over the top in kitsch and is instead rather restrained and basic in this touring show which gives the characters the stage.

I hope to go back to see the show again ‘cos I loved it and to see how Kirsty Malpass fares in the lead role on Connie’s days off.

Reviewed by: Mike Smith

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