The Sound of music is such an iconic film and one I’ve seen many a time. It’s a film that I was brought up on so when I see that this fantastic production was touring once again I was a little excited to finally see it. This show is running in Sunderland from 11th February until 15th February.
About the musical
This is based on a real life story about the Von Trapp family singers. This musical is a heartwarming romantic one from romantic beginnings, the search for happiness, to their thrilling escape to freedom as their beloved Austria that becomes part of the Third Reich at the start of the Second World War. This musical features iconic songs such as My favourite things, So long farewell and not forgetting the classic sound of music song itself. A musical for all the family to enjoy!. A true love story between Marie and Captain Von Trapp who end up falling in love despite him being engaged to someone else. Marie is sent from the Abbey to find what her heart desires and ends up looking after the Von Trapp children.
The role iconic of Marie Trapp is played by Emilie Fleming (Who took part in the BBC’s production of somewhere over the rainbow with Andrew Lloyd Webber and has taken part in musicals such as Les Misérables). Captain Von Trapp is played by Andrew Lancel (better know as Frank Foster in Coronation street, he was also in the bill) Andrew played this character in 2016 and is back again for the 2020 tour. The production is produced by Bill Kenwright.
Here is a little Q&A with both Andrew and Emilie that was presented to me from Sunderland Empire.
“Hi Andrew. The Sound of Music is one of those musicals that means so much to so many people. What does it mean to you?
For me, it’s all about hope and love. I don’t think you can hide from the fact that it’s a bit of a crazyworld at the minute. With The Sound of Music, for a couple of hours you can sit in a theatre and see people who’ve lost everything get something back. It has a real presence of danger in it and it’s not a million miles away from what’s happening in certain countries now, but it is also escapism, and we all need a bit of that, don’t we? I think the reason why it is possibly the greatest musical of all timeand certainly one of the most popular is that it’s just full of hope and love and fun.
You’ve played the role of Captain von Trapp before, in 2016. Was it a difficult decision to return tothe role?
I had to think for all of 20 seconds about coming back to it. I was delighted. When it came to my last show I was feeling all the emotion of everything the show can bring and I remember walking offstage and saying, “I can’t not do that show again.”
You have a new Maria this time round, Emilie Fleming. What does she bring to the role?Maria is probably the biggest female musical theatre role. Whoever plays it really has to inhabit itand own it. All the Marias that I’ve seen and worked with in this production have been exceptional. Emilie is every bit as special, funny and quirky.
Captain von Trapp is also an iconic role. How do you balance following Christopher Plummer’sperformance in the film with bringing your own interpretation to the part?
I was determined to find the sense of humour and loving human being that must be in him. This is aman who’s lost everything. He’s lost his wife. He’s losing his country to the Nazis. But there’s a big clue to finding him in the fact that there are seven children. If you’re a grumpy guy, you give up afterone or two, don’t you? They kept on having children and loved each other so much, and then the lights went off in his life, I think. He’s trying very hard to keep things together for his children and forhis country and he just can’t, so he puts his wall up. Then this sunbeam comes into his house andbreaks those walls down.
It’s a lovely journey to play. It’s hard and it’s a big sing. You feel you’ve got a responsibility, but it’s agood responsibility.
For me, it’s all about hope and love. I don’t think you can hide from the fact that it’s a bit of a crazyworld at the minute. With The Sound of Music, for a couple of hours you can sit in a theatre and see people who’ve lost everything get something back. It has a real presence of danger in it and it’s not a million miles away from what’s happening in certain countries now, but it is also escapism, and we all need a bit of that, don’t we? I think the reason why it is possibly the greatest musical of all time and certainly one of the most popular is that it’s just full of hope and love and fun.”
“Hi Emilie. For anyone who doesn’t know The Sound of Music, what is it about?
Well, it’s a story about brave men and women who love music, love to sing and carry a lot of hope with them in times of fear and doubt. It’s extremely moving because there’s so much truth in it.
It’s about Maria, who gives her life to the church. It doesn’t go as planned and she’s sent away to begoverness to the von Trapp family. She falls in love with her employer, Captain von Trapp, and he falls in love with her.
What made you want to be a part of the production?
I’ve been longing to do a Rogers and Hammerstein musical since I graduated. I love their music. I grew up listening and singing along to it. My family always shared a love of that genre and style ofmusic with me and my voice really suits it. It’s simple but so detailed at the same time. It’s true, colourful, emotional and not overcomplicated.
The Sound of Music doesn’t come around very often, so this was an amazing opportunity. It’s such a classic favourite; people just know they’re going to enjoy it, that they’re going to have a good time.
You’re right, The Sound of Music is such a well‐loved musical. Do you remember when you firstsaw it?
Oh gosh, I couldn’t tell you what age I was. I know that I was very young and I watched it over and over and over again. Surely at least twice a year for a long time. You can watch it a million times and it doesn’t get old.
Maria is an iconic role. How do you feel about playing her?
I’m just in awe of Julie Andrews. Once you’ve watched her in the film, she is Maria. When you seeher portray this role, there’s just so much detail. You can hear every single detail of every single word. I definitely take all of that in my own journey as well, vocally. She’s in me.
But my incredible singing teacher told me: “Emilie, this is definitely daunting, but you’ve got to lookat it as if it’s fresh.” She’s right. You’ve got to look at it this way because there’s no way I or anyone could impersonate Julie Andrews. You’ve got to share it from your own heart and soul.”
WOW I am well and truly speechless!! Absolutely outstanding performance by all the cast and production team. One of best musicals me and my mam have ever seen (and we’ve seen ALOT). It was that amazing it made my mam cry. A truly emotional musical that made my heart happy. All of the songs were very catchy and will stick in your head. Highly recommend this musical or film to anyone. Very heart warming and family friendly. Fun fact did you know the sound of music was a musical before it was a film? I always thought it was the other away round. I loved it so much, one of my faves so far this year it will take a lot to beat it.
Have you seen this classic film or musical before?
Thank you for reading xxx