★★★★★ | The Sound of Music
Singing nuns and handsome widowers? Lederhosen and dresses run up using a pair of old curtains? An innocent yet savvy governess saving the day against a Nazi threat? No wonder that The Sound of Music has always had a massive gay following.
Whether you’re a diehard fan or (like me) have merely snoozed off in front of the film on a rainy Bank Holiday Monday; you’re sure to find something to love in this fresh and highly accomplished revival of a classic musical.
The beautiful Regent’s park Open Air Theatre is a suitably outdoorsy setting for a sojourn into Austria, with its banks of Alpine flowers, a stream at the front of the stage, the backdrop of trees and the night sky. It’s not just the surroundings that dazzle and imbue atmosphere, as the cast bring a series of classic songs to life and manage to convey a storyline that keeps the audience rapt throughout and last night, ended with a thunderous standing ovation.
The painfully handsome Michael Xavier is a dashing and alluring Captain von Trapp, equalled only by Charlotte Wakefield’s passionate performance as Maria, which oozes vitality. The songs may be over familiar but the gusto and skill of the large cast combined with witty choreography, makes them seem brand new and every bit as accomplished and exciting as when you first heard them.
I’ve always been more Cruella DeVil than Maria von Trapp when it comes to schmaltz and singing children with rosy cheeks, but even my stony heart contracted just a tiny bit by the end of the show. I briefly considered joining a convent just so that I could learn to sing like that awe inspiring Mother Abbess but decided that black just isn’t my colour. I heartily recommend this wholesome but inspiring treat. You’ll be humming about lonely goatherds and raindrops on roses all the way home, whether you planned to or not.
The Sound of Music runs until the 7th of September 2013