The Sound of Music

Date 4th April 2024
Society Melody Makers
Venue Benllech Community & Ex-Servicemen's Hall
Type of Production Musical
Director Val Bamber & Caroline Ward
Musical Director Eunice Parry
Choreographer Judith Jefferies


Author: Lyn Emmerson

The Sound of Music is always a popular choice and this production was appropriate for the Company’s 51st year of Production. We all know the story of the Von Trapp Family and each time I see it offers something new. It was in fact, a big challenge for the Producers, Val and Caroline to bring the story to the stage but nothing phased them and they all rose to the challenge to bring us an evening of delight which was appreciated by a receptive audience.

Scenery and sets were well designed and managed by a very capable Back Stage Crew with no pauses between scenes. Costumes were appropriate for the period and Sound and clever Lighting played a big part in setting the scenes.

The entrance from the back of the Hall by the Nuns of Nonnberg Abbey, led by the Mother Abbess was most impressive. Jenny Williams gave us a very powerful portrayal of Mother Abbess which set a high standard for the Production, a particular highlight was her rendition of ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’ at the end of Act 1. It was evident that the Nuns and the Accompanist had spent many hours rehearsing the harmony in the ‘Preludium’ and later with the ‘Gaudeamus Domino’, which paid off. The ‘Maria’ number was delightfully sung by Sister Berthe, Val Bamber: Sister Sophia, Caroline Ward and Sister Margaretta, Carys Davies, each one of them held on to the harmony throughout.

The enviable role of Maria Rainer was superbly characterised and sung by Juliet Berrigan who is no stranger to the Company. She brought an additional impish sparkle to the character which I haven’t seen before. Her rapport with the children was excellent, at the same time moments with the Mother Abbess were tender. On the other hand, Maria was able to stand her ground with Captain Georg von Trapp, well played by Benn Berrigan, although I would like to have seen a bit more of a forceful, dynamic side to his script. Nevertheless a creditable performance from Captain Von Trapp. I liked the characterisation Steven Blankley penned as freeloading Max Detweiler, whilst Gwenda Griffith shone as Elsa Schraeder. In the Von Trapp household, Sean Sheehan and Carolyn Wright fully justified their selections as, Franz, The Butler and Housekeeper, Frau Schmidt respectively. Ian Hajbok was well cast as Telegraph Boy Rolf Gruber. 

One could ascertain The Von Trapp children all enjoyed their roles from the eldest to the youngest, each one knew what was expected of them and carried their roles off with aplomb. Leisel, Friedrich, Louisa, Kurt, Brigitta, Marta and Gretel were confidently played by Sophie Topliss, Jayden Cragg, Alys Hughes, Aben Berrigan, Holly Hajbok, Aluna Bach, and Autumn Bach. They assisted Maria in many well know musical numbers including ‘Do-Re-Mi’ and ‘The Lonely Goatherd’ - WELL DONE!

There were many minor roles shared amongst the cast each one contributing to the success of the piece. Thank you all for your invitation, hospitality, and the chance to experience another Melody Makers success. Many Congratulations to all involved in any way whatsoever.

This is the opinion of the Reviewer.