The Sound of Music

Date 19th April 2019
Society Act 1 Youth
Venue Town Hall, Hawick
Type of Production Musical
Director Deborah Lyons
Musical Director Ann Witherington
Choreographer Rachel Inglis

Report

Author: Stewart Cameron

Act 1 Youth Community Theatre has only been in existence for four years and my have they developed well. This company tries to bring in various members of the local community to take part in their shows and this year they have excelled in the characters they have been able to persuade to take part. Some of them have never been on stage before, some have worked with the adult Musical Theatre Company in Hawick, and they all blended well together under the experienced hand of Deborah Lyons who directed the show.

The scene changes were slick and the settings complimented the action. There is little for men to do in this show so in order that they were kept active the back stage crew doubled up as party goers and soldiers. There was a little problem with sound quality at one part of the show I attended but this did not detract from a super all round performance.

Ann Witherington, the Musical Director had put together a nice small band whose playing was excellent and suitably complimented the performance on stage.

Although there isn’t a great deal of chorus work in this show, the ensemble of nuns was in excellent form vocally. Their harmonies in the Morning Chorus was excellent, as was their rendition of the Canticle in the wedding scene which was sung with passion and confidence.

There then follows the scenes when Maria is being sent to the Von Trapp family as Governess. Deborah Lyons not only directed this show but took on the role as Mother Abbess. Oh, my what a wonderful voice she has and her rendition of “Climb every Mountain” was outstanding. She was aided and abetted by her sister nuns Margaretta (Joyce Tinlin), Berthe (Gillian Pringle), and Sophia (Anne Clark). They were very good and I liked their choreography in the Abbess office. They made good use of the stage.

The success of this show is mainly dependant on Maria and the children. In this production Rachel Inglis sang beautifully. She had a strong and confident personality and together with her excellent singing voice this was a performance to remember. In addition to her acting talents Rachel also choreographed the show and all of the movement whether by the children or adults was faultless.

The Von Trapp children (Friedrich- Daniel Felix, Louise – Jessica Scott, Brigitta – Marli Kiore, Kurt – Leonardo Felix, Marta – Erin Clarke, Gretl – Ruby Watson) steal the show and this was no exception giving a lively, confident, performance of singing, dancing and acting talent. They all played their individual parts very well and when they sang together you could almost feel the smiles from the audience. I was sorry that I didn’t see the alternate family of Aiden Cannon-Friedrich, Carla Porter – Louisa, Faris Alkhoury – Kurt, Hope Stewart – Brigitta, Marly Domingo – Marta, Rylee Domingo – Gretl and I am sure that if they were as good as the ones  I saw the audience would have enjoyed a treat.

Of course, the show is not just about Maria and the children and Michael Aitken who played Captain von Trapp was as good as I have seen. I understand whilst Michael does some singing in the local area, he has not performed on stage in a musical before. You would not have known it. His performance and transition from the confident bearing as the Naval Captain being quite strict to the family man who falls in love with Maria was well portrayed. I hope he continues with this new found hobby as he will be an asset to any company he joins.

The parts of Elsa Schraeder and Max Detweiler were very well done by Craig Douglas and Kim Jeffrey, I liked Craig’s characterisation of Max and Kim’s performance as the upper crust countess type person was good. I particularly liked the trio with the Captain when the sang “I”.

Mairi Johnston as Liesl was delightful and worked well with Alexander Edwards who played the part of Rolf. She has a good voice and their duet “I am 16” was very good indeed. They seemed quite relaxed in their roles as the young lovers.

The parts of Franz and Frau Schmidt, the butler and Housekeeper were ably played by Rob Goldie and Vivien Armstrong. The other supporting characters all as important as each other were all well played by the individuals who played them.

I had a very enjoyable evening at Hawick and I thank you all for a superb performance and for the socialising afterwards.