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Rugby Theatre review: The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music, Rugby Theatre, to Dec 15.

The story of the von Trapp family was first staged as a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in 1959, and the much-loved film was released in 1965 to become the highest-grossing movie of all time. Now comes Emma Bright’s production at Rugby Theatre - and even though the songs were written more than half a century ago, they have lost none of their appeal. Libby Lowe gives an outstanding performance as Maria with the unforced clarity of her vocals matched perfectly by Philip Evans as Captain von Trapp.

Two teams of children known affectionately as team Noodles and team Schnitzel alternate to appear as the captain’s seven children and it's hard not to sing along with them as they enthusiastically perform the infectious melodies such as My Favourite Things and Do-Re-Mi. From the atmospheric opening sequence featuring the nuns of the Nonnberg Abbey, to the final scene where the von Trapp family can be seen escaping the Nazi regime, climbing Maria’s cherished mountains, the show is a fabulous feel-good production.

Sarah Phipps as Mother Abbess is pitch perfect with her emotional rendition of Climb every Mountain in the final scene as the von Trapp family flee their beloved homeland. This exceptional production which marks the theatre's 70th anniversary, is the perfect antidote to Christmas shopping.

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