The Sound of Music

Date 4th May 2022
Society Broxbourne Theatre Company
Venue Spotlight Theatre Broxbourne
Type of Production Musical
Director Malcolm Hollow
Musical Director Joanna Pierce
Choreographer Malcolm Hollow


Author: Nova Horley for Vicki Avery

It was lovely to be asked to review BTC again, after such a long break, and it was evident to see the enthusiasm for being back on stage.

It was a shame we had to attend on first night, as there were some technical issues that needed ironing out, some overlong scene changes, but particularly with regard to sound, there were many late mic cues, and also mics not tuned out once cast were off stage, so we heard a lot of offstage comments! The sound and lighting people did not seem familiar with the script, so hope they were able to tap into the resource on subsequent nights.

Costumes were not as sharp as they could have been, the Nuns looked a little untidy, with some not wearing their wimples properly, I did not like the choice of headdress for Maria, the front white band was very unflattering (usually a headband with small veil). Overall, the children’s costumes were fine, however they needed a little tidying up before going onstage, and the girls’ costumes should all have been matching, which they were not.

The opening showed a strong chorus of nuns, however again I felt the sound balance was a little awry, but they were really in the swing of things for Act 2 and were very tuneful.

Musically there were some good moments, I thought the children (Ellie Carter, George Anderson, Phoebe Pitt, Charlie Green, Leah Darrington, Siobhan Welch and Iris Welch) performed well overall, and gave us that ‘aah’ factor. With Leah Darrington performing nicely as Brigitta, showing her matter-of-fact approach to situations.

Carly Cousins gave us a charming Maria, singing the part beautifully, and getting good rapport with the children, whilst Phillip Cable’s Captain Von Trapp showed his stern side well, however I was concerned his quick change had to encroach on the ballroom scene!

Sara Eastham as the Mother Abbess again sang beautifully, I was a little concerned that her big moment was marred by the tabs closing on her at the end of Climb Every Mountain.

The three named Nuns (Rachel Pennant, Katharine Zopolo & Ruth Ottley) all showed understanding of their different characters, with the household staff (David Curling and Sarah Welch) providing the right deference to their ‘superiors’.

Daniel Stride created a strong Rolf, a good catalyst to the softness and innocence of Ellie Carter’s Liesl. Ellie sang well and created a good character.

Max (David Cousins) got the true essence of Max, a good performance, whilst Eleanor Gage was a suitably haughty Elsa.

Ollie Pajak, Bryan Hewitt and Andy Kirtley completed the German line up with good characterisations.

A nice show to start the return to normality, which I enjoyed, and my thanks to BTC for inviting me and for their hospitality on the night, thanks to Mark in particular for looking after us so well.