The Sound of Music, HAODS, The Capitol, Horsham, Wednesday, November 13
It must be a difficult task to take on the iconic role of Maria but Caron Ireland really rose to the challenge in Horsham Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society’s new production of The Sound of Music.
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical (for those few people who don’t know) tells the story of a young woman called Maria who wants to become a nun in 1930s Austria.
However, the Mother Abbess decides she’s not ready for the religious life and tells her to become a temporary governess to Captain Georg von Trapp’s children where her natural zest wins over the kids and, eventually, the father.
HAODS have offered another hit with this show.
Caron Ireland’s Maria fizzed with energy and enthusiasm for life as she skipped and sang across the stage without hitting a wrong note.
David Johnson made a good Captain von Trapp too, giving a moving performance as the stern father gradually let some joy back into his life.
David’s performance of Edelweiss was particularly poignant, as Captain von Trapp sang in front of a Nazi flag, almost overwhelmed with sadness at the invasion of Austria.
Hana Beckwith, who played Liesl, handled the singing like a pro, performing the delightful number Sixteen Going On Seventeen with ease.
Gus Quintéro-Fryatt was convincing as Liesl’s love interest, Rolf, making the teen’s transformation from charming young man to nasty little authoritarian believable.
Despite the darker aspects of the story, the cast kept the mood light-hearted throughout.
Chris Dale was particularly amusing, threatening to steal the show with his hilarious performance as the flamboyant Uncle Max.
The younger performers who played the mischievous von Trapp children kept the show fun as well.
The play had two sets of children with different actors appearing on different evenings. The Wednesday kids were: Millie Aiton, Jacob Pearson, Jasmine Bedford, Ellie Attfield and Orla Edwards. Cameron Rowell was in both versions. They were all on good form and more than capable when it came to performing some of the trickier songs like Do-Re-Mi.
In fact, the standard of singing was very high from all cast members.
It was a large cast once again but all the performers were in sync, confidently pulling together for the big musical numbers.
The band truly deserved a round of applause too, giving this production the life and energy you can only get from live musicians.
By Lawrence Smith