Date 4th February 2012
Society Ballywillan Drama Group
Venue Riverside Theatre, Coleraine
Director Brian Logan
Musical Director Eric Boyd
Choreographer Sharon Logan, Laura Fisher


Author: Sheelagh Hobart

Brian and Sharon, while leaving most aspects of this iconic musical unchanged, inserted some delightful new ideas. Brian’s set mostly worked well although I really missed a staircase in the villa. The Austrian mountains backdrop was exquisite, and flickering candles in Nonnberg Abbey were very atmospheric. Choreography, mostly with the children, was delightful and the nuns moved smoothly with reverence. Eric’s  orchestra was controlled and sympathetic.

Laura Douglas made a charmingly natural Maria – though sometimes, key lines were thrown away. Her singing voice was sweet and true. Alan McClarty was very much the naval captain as Georg von Trapp, gradually mellowing towards his children and Maria. The children played by Sam Magilton, Amy Rankin, Leon Woods, Hannah McAleenon, Jasmine Gardiner and Erin Wilson were delightfully confident and Asling Reynolds (oldest sister, Leisel ) gave a lovely performance – particularly “Sixteen going on Seventeen” with Adam Goudy who was confident as would-be boyfriend Rolf,  David Ferguson ( Max Detweiler) added a light comedic touch while Baroness Schraeder, although not right for Georg, was really rather nice! Frau Schmidt (Audrey Branagh) and Frantz (Tom Waddell) were formal and loyal until Franz’s shocking change of allegiance. Herr Zeller and Admiral von Schreiber (Harry Stinson & Ian McGinley) were particularly sinister Nazis. Ladies of the nuns’ chorus sang beautifully and Sisters Margaretta, Bertha and Sophia (Eva Ferguson, Louise McClarty & Margaret Brownlow) made a lovely trio of contrasting characters. Olive Hemphill, as Mother Abbess seemed very much in charge and a mother figure to Maria.