The Sound of Music

Date 6th May 2013
Society The DODS
Venue The Lister Hall, Dursley
Type of Production Musical
Director Ken Hitchings assisted by Frankie Telford
Musical Director Roger Winter
Choreographer Sue Kinsey

Report

Author: Malcolm White for Frankie Telford

When I was 8 years old my mother took me to the cinema to see ‘The Sound of Music’, and that was the beginning my love for musicals.  So I have a big soft spot this show. This show has become probably the most loved of Rogers and Hammerstein’s and it is like visiting an old friend.  I have to say that the production team and cast certainly did it justice.  I have always admired MIKE GRAHAM’s sets and I would say that this one was one of his best.  The mechanics of the design ensured a series of smooth scene changes and it was beautifully painted.  I particularly liked the stained glass window at the Abbey, which was very effectively backlit.  The lighting design complemented the set and enhanced the mood of the moment.  The abbey scenes were particularly atmospheric.  The costumes were colourful and well chosen; however, I would have liked Von Trapp’s first costume to have been crisper and smarter.  The light blue blazer looked a little casual.  The nuns wore their habits well and the children looked lovely.  The 12-piece orchestra, under the leadership of ROGER WINTER, played well together. There were times when I felt that the soloist was trying to keep up with the orchestra rather than the orchestra following the soloist, but I’m sure this would have sorted itself in subsequent performances. The M.D. is to be sincerely complimented on the harmony singing of the nuns; obviously a lot of hard work had been put in and it was a delight to listen to.  SUE KINSEY’s choreography was simple and well rehearsed.  She also managed to make each number look like a natural part of the story that defined and complimented the lyrics, rather than create a dance number. Well done, Sue.  The whole cast put their all into this 60th anniversary production, lead by a very strong set of principals. EMMA HITCHINGS as Maria was stunning, her energy and beautiful singing voice made her the perfect choice for the role. There was no hint of a Julie Andrews copy, as so often happens, she put her own mark and interpretation on the role and made it hers.  She was very well complemented by ANDREW TELFORD as Captain Von Trapp, his growing warmth towards Maria was obvious and their relationship became very believable.  RACHEL BURBRIDGE made a confident Elsa, although I would have like to have seen her softer side at times to make Von Trapp’s initial attraction to her understandable.  Max Detweiler was enthusiastically characterised by JAMES EASEY. All of the children were delightful and well disciplined, and their warmth and love for Maria was clearly evident.  KEN HITCHINGS and FRANKIE TELFORD’s direction made this a charming production.  It had tenderness, tension and, above all, pace.

I would also like to congratulate Dursley Operatic and Dramatic Society on their 60th anniversary.  Thank you for providing and keeping quality live theatre available and accessible to the local community. Long may you continue.