Von Trapps hit the right note

Claire Harbourne as Maria in the Sound of Music which is currently on stage at the Gaiety Theatre

Claire Harbourne as Maria in the Sound of Music which is currently on stage at the Gaiety Theatre

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THE Gaiety Theatre has been alive with the Sound of Music this week.

And the show, produced by In Yer Space theatre company, has certainly become one of my favourite things.

Featuring the superb talent of visiting Lancashire lass Claire Harbourne in the title role of Maria, the musical continues until Saturday. My advice - check now if there are any tickets left (call 600555).

Claire first played the part of the maverick nun sent to be the governess of Captain von Trapp’s seven unruly children when she was a teenager. And she has proved to be a perfect choice for Maria and worth being shipped over to the island. Her acting, timing and singing voice were all spot on and full of a fresh energy. And the blonde actress looked great in the orange wig.

However, the real stars of the production were the children. Three sets of young island actors took on the roles of the von Trapp brood and those on stage on Saturday night were outstanding.

The newly crownedYoung Actor of Mann Laura Pigott was brilliant as eldest daughter Liesl. She performed her duet with love interest Rolf, played by Joe Hillard, effortlessly. And the kiss was well timed and sweet.

The youngest girls, especially Gretl, were adorable.

But it was when all seven children were on stage together that the real magic was made. Each one added a little something. Their comical timing and harmonies were a delight to watch.

Talking of harmonies, when the Mother Superior, played by Kristene Sutcliffe, and the other nuns sang they truly raised the roof with their operatic talents. And the dashing David Artus, as Captain von Trapp, rounded off what was a wonderful cast.

The set and ‘old curtain’ costumes were the piece de resistance.

The stage adaptation followed the film pretty much scene by scene but anything else would probably have disappointed hardcore fans.

I knew it was a good show when I found myself involuntarily singing along to Lonely Goat Herd and So Long Farewell.

The curtain fell to wails, whoops and whistles.

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