BBC finalist and cast of Manx actors bring story of Maria to the Gaiety

Claire Harbourne plays Maria in The Sound of Music currently showing at the Gaiety Theatre

Claire Harbourne plays Maria in The Sound of Music currently showing at the Gaiety Theatre

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In Yer Space theatre company is climbing every mountain with their next production. The Sound of Music will begin a week-long run at the Gaiety Theatre tomorrow (Friday) night.

‘Being one of the most popular musicals of all time we really are on to a winner with a first rate cast, a delightful group of energetic von Trapp children and a superb orchestra,’ explained director Colin Snell.

‘Given the performance skills of the island’s David Artus, as von Trapp, and visiting actress Claire Harbourne, pictured, as Maria, audiences should be prepared to be wowed.’

The production company returns to the stage with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical hit about the untameable nun Maria, following the success of their recent Gaiety shows The Rise and Fall of Little Voice last month and Grease in November.

Playing the lead role is BBC’s Over the Rainbow finalist Claire Harbourne, currently completing a classics degree at King’s College, University of London, before taking up a place at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in the autumn to study musical theatre.

Colin has worked with Lancashire lass Claire before when she played Maria in her teens. Now, at 21, she is delighted to be reprising the role here in the Isle of Man.

He said: ‘Having worked with Claire previously as Maria I had no hesitation in asking her to repeat her performance with In Yer Space once I knew I had the rights for the show.

‘She brings a youthfulness and a vitality to Maria and an onstage chemistry with David, which is crucial to the success and credibility of the show.’

He explained: ‘When she first appeared at rehearsals she was virtually word-perfect and has struck up an excellent rapport with the children.

‘I know her performance will be as engaging this time round as it was the first. Plus her maturity and theatre experience will enhance the role even more.’

The cast also features Kristene Sutcliffe as the Mother Abbess, Claire-Louise Cubbon as Elsa, Michael Bonner as Max, newly-crowned Young Actor of Mann Laura Pigott as Liesl, Joe HIllard as Rolf and three teams of von Trapp children.

The show will run nightly at 7.30pm from tomorrow until next Saturday (May 4), with 2pm matinees on each Saturday. Tickets start at £20, with concessions available. Call the box office on 600555 or visit www.villagaiety.com

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