The Sound of Music

by | Jan 19, 2022 | Featured, Reviews

The Norfolk & Norwich Operatic Society returned to Norwich Theatre Royal with a fresh new production of this much-loved Rogers and Hammerstein musical.

The show started with nearly thirty nuns singing beautiful choral music while their faces were filled with joy. With a twenty-three piece live orchestra for accompaniment this captured the audience and set the tone for this very professional performance.

Our introduction to Maria (Michelle Unstead) with the ‘The Sound of Music’ showed us her warmth and engaging presence and we knew we were in for a very wonderful evening.

It’s a large cast with all the characters and a big ensemble, however this added depth to the production as it filled the stage with atmosphere and as they were all wonderful singers it filled the theatre with delightful song.

The main actors captured their characters very well and the introduction to the seven Van Trapp children was iconic. The children were all fantastic and showed no signs of tiring during the performance and Gretel. of course, stole the hearts of the audience. Every actor had a superb voice and it was sublime to hear the singing.

All the song favourites were there and were utterly enchanting. A couple were in a different place than expected, however it was generally logical. Plus, we need to remember this is an adapted show and we were given reprises later on to enjoy once again.

The first half was packed with singing and some speaking to move the story along, far more speaking in the second half as we dealt with the Germans (there were no songs written for that) and it slightly lost the flow of the wonderful first half. There were parts of the story which were a little rushed, but we all could fill in the gaps or suspend belief as we know the story inside and out and to be honest it didn’t matter when the performance as a whole was terrific.

The set was incredibly simple and exceptionally effective. A large back screen sweeping in a crescent shape across the back of the stage showing high definition quality scene images, whether it was the Austrian mountains, town square, interior and exterior scenes of the Abbey, the house, and with the lighting on the floor looking like grass, cobbles or wooden floor it made the stage look lavish. Minimal props were used, benches doubled up as the bed, the Abbey gates and the cast brought the items on stage almost as part of the performance so it was very smooth.

I was surprised to read this was an amateur production as the quality of both the performance and the production was high class. I enjoyed this far more than I was expecting, it was emotional seeing a childhood film I’ve seen many times brought to life on the stage and this was due to the magical singing from everyone. This is a highly recommended performance.

The Sound of Music is running until 22nd January 2022


  • Hayley Clapperton

    Hayley is a business co-owner working too many hours so it's a good job she's passionate about it. Hayley's down time is music, music and music of all types and she enjoys going to gigs, listening to new bands and breathing in the energy it creates.

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