The Sound of Music has always been one of my favourite movies. Up until recently, I had always thought the movie to be the original source material for the on-stage musical, but it turns out that it's actually the movie which takes from the show, as is often the case. Discovering that, it may be unfair to compare and contrast what audiences see at The Lowry to Julie Andrews and company on the big screen, but comparisons will always be made. After all, it is the most famous adaptation the world has seen.
So, it was a joy to see Lucy O'Byrne revelling in her role as Maria Rainer. Failing in her quest to become a nun at The Abbey, she's sent to a family who need a new Governess, against the landscape of a confused Austria which eventually becomes a part of the Third Reich ahead of the chaos of the Second World War.
When speaking, Lucy echoes Andrews and when singing, she brought her own unique style and tone to some of the classics. Her chemistry with the children was electric and the sense of warmth she brought to the room was just enchanting.
Kane Verrall and Annie Horn were a delight to watch as Rolf Gruber and Liesl von Trapp, with a beautifully choreographed dance during '16 Going On 17' which must have took hours upon hours in a studio to perfect.
The rest of the von Trapp children were all brilliant in their roles, lighting up the stage whenever they began to sing and really carrying many of the songs and performances they were a part of.
Jan Hartley also delivered a stunning performance throughout as Mother Abbess, threatening to steal the show at times as she belted out 'Climb Ev'ry Mountain' and kept the nuns in check. She and the other nuns provided hilarity in moments, bringing a little laughter when it was most needed.
A gorgeous set complimented the performances, with the von Trapp mansion interior one of the best I've seen in a lifetime of theatre trips.
Unfortunately, Gray O'Brien's performance as Captain von Trapp was not my favourite. His voice and accent changed at times, he was a little too jolly and forced with his lines and this didn't seem to be the role for him. There were a couple of moments where he forgot his lines and had to rehash them, or spoke over one of his fellow ensemble, and it did take away from the show.
Despite that, the cast as a whole put on something terrific. This was my first time seeing The Sound of Music in the theatre, and I can happily say it met many expectations. The perfect show to take the family to over the festive season.
The Sound of Music runs through at The Lowry until Saturday January 2.
Tagged in The Sound Of Music