Show has plenty of my favourite things
The Sound of Music The Regent theatre
THE performances of Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer in the film version of The Sound of Music are fondly remembered by many.
But the amateur cast bringing the musical to life at the Regent theatre can also be proud of their efforts.
Billed as 'The World's Favourite Musical', The Sound of Music tells the story of nun Maria Rainer, who is sent away from her convent to become a governess to Captain von Trapp's seven children at the outbreak of the Second World War.
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The biggest joy for me was seeing a cast full of local talent light up the theatre.
Among them was opera singer Denise Leigh, the winner of Channel 4's Operatunity.
She plays the Mother Abbess and her rousing rendition of Climb Every Mountain raised the roof and sent the audience into rapturous applause.
Accompanying Denise and the cast was a nine-piece orchestra, who helped to make the songs sound so magical.
Not only were the audience treated to beautiful renditions of the well-known songs from the film, there were also equally enjoyable songs that only appear in the musical.
These included How Can Love Survive and No Way To Stop It – both of which involve Baroness Schraeder, the Captain's suitor, played with great flair by Jenny Mellor.
Taking on the mammoth role of Maria von Trapp was Laine Theatre Arts graduate Shelley Anne Rivers, of Cheddleton.
Shelley was the crowning jewel of this production.
She reminded me very much of Julie Andrews, possessing natural warmth.
Her singing, dancing and acting were world class and she was a great company leader.
Although this production was shown under an amateur production licence,it feels wrong to tag it as such.
All the cast were utmost professionals and even those in acting-only roles, such as Caroline Keen as the housekeeper Frau Schmidt, delivered masterful performances.
One of the only weak points was the lighting. On occasion, spotlights shined directly into audience member's faces, which proved discomforting.
It also seems a shame that the audience will be singing along at the musical during a couple of this week's performances.
Although I admit this provides a wonderful chance for people to relive their experiences of singing along to the film, I feel that all the wonderful acting and singing on offer on-stage should be listened to and enjoyed fully.
The Sound of Music is showing at The Regent Theatre until Saturday.
For further information and to book tickets, please call 0844 871 7649.