The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music – August 2023

Who? – Chichester Festival Theatre

What? – The Sound of Music

Where?  Chichester Festival Theatre

When? – 10 July – 3 Sep 2023

What’s the show about? The show is about a young nun called Maria who is sent by Mother Abbess on “God’s errand” to become a governess to the seven von Trapp children. As soon as Maria arrives in the house she is welcomed in by Frau Schmidt, Captain von Trapp’s housekeeper, and after only a matter of few seconds Captain von Trapp enters and greets Maria.

The Captain brandishes a golden whistle and uses it to command the children to march down the stairs and into a straight line. However, only six arrive on time and around ten seconds later the seventh child enters the room, engrossed in a book and Captain von Trapp snaps it shut and she runs to join her siblings. Captain von Trapp tells Maria that they each have a whistle signal in case Maria needed them.

He tells Maria to listen carefully and then instructs the children to step forward and step back once they have said their name. The order is oldest to youngest, like this: Liesl (16), Friedrich (14), Louisa (13), Kurt (11), Brigitta (10), Marta (7) and then Gretel (5).

Captain von Trapp goes to Vienna for a visit to Frau Schraeder and his friend Max. He ends up being engaged to Frau Schraeder and nearly getting married. Meanwhile, Maria had taught the children how to sing (starting with the unforgettable Do, Rey, Mi) so that when the children meet Frau Schraeder for the first time, they sing to her. Afterwards, Captain Von Trapp sings Edelweiss to the children.

They then have a party where Maria feels as if she is falling in love with Captain von Trapp and, because she feels like that is unprofessional, she leaves to go back to the abbey. After having a talking to from Mother Abbess she decides to face the problem rather than hide from it, and so she goes back.

Once Maria takes her job up again she finds out about the engagement between Captain von Trapp and Frau Schraeder. However, the Captain and Frau Schraeder have an argument and the engagement is called off.

Then in a scene where Maria and Captain von Trapp are alone together, they find out that they both love each other so they get married and go on their honeymoon. When they return the Nazis have taken over Austria and the Captain is expected to join their navy and fight for them. He doesn’t want to do that, so they make a plan to sing at the Salzburg Music Festival and then flee the country. It’s sad that they had to leave, but good that they could stay together as a family.

What was really good about it? I enjoyed every song and the way it was performed. I was told that the singing was quieter and the lights were brighter because we went to the relaxed performance, I didn’t actually think the singing was quiet because it still sounded good to me.

Just, on the whole, it was an amazing show to see. If you don’t go to see this show you will regret it.

Gina Beck as Maria was incredible, especially her singing. She was just like Julie Andrews in the film.

Ed Harrison plays Captain von Trapp really well. I liked him because he sticks to his morals throughout but changes from being a stern father to a nicer, more loving one.

I really liked Max’s character because he was funny because he always wanted to be around rich people and was always trying to get his own way by getting performers for his show. Ako Mitchell was great as Max.

I got a salted caramel ice cream at the interval. It tasted so, so nice.

I was lucky enough to meet some of the cast after the show and they were all really friendly. There was Ed Harrison who plays Captain von Trapp, Ako Mitchell who plays Max and Rebecca Ridout who plays one of the Nuns. You can see me with them in the photos below.

What could be better?  I think the only problem was that, in my opinion, there was slightly too much kissing and that is not one of my favourite things.

I didn’t really like all of the Nazi symbols and soldiers because they were a bit scary, but it did give us a good understanding of what it would have been like for them.

What my dad thinks? I’m not ashamed to say I got a bit misty-eyed at this one. The first act is all warm nostalgia brilliantly executed but the second act hits a whole other level of powerful poignancy.

All of the singing was fantastic, but the harmonies created by the Nuns particularly blew me away.

The performance we went to was a relaxed performance and I must give enormous credit to the cast of SoM and the staff at CFT who did a great job. They really considered everyone’s needs and made it an enjoyable experience for all. Inclusion really does matter and they did a great job of making everyone welcome.

Star Rating –  🧡💛💚💙💜

Me with Ed Harrison, Ako Mitchell and Rebecca Ridout from the Sound of Music cast
Ed Harrison plays Captain von Trapp in the Sound of Music
Ako Mitchell plays Max in the Sound of Music at CFT
Rebecca Ridout was one of the nuns in the Sound of Music
The Sound of Music is on at CFT until 3 September

6 thoughts on “The Sound of Music”

  1. I was fortunate to see the show and therefore understood everything Tom said. It was a fabulous show and I loved it. I agree the second half when the family had to flee was chilling with the soldiers in the audience. However, as Tom indicated it shows what actually happened to the family. It’s a ‘must see’ production and I’ve recommended it to family and friends.

  2. Hey Tom another great review. thank you so much. As you know I watched this recently with your Mom at the theatre and previously as a young 7 year old with all of my brothers and sisters when it came to the cinema in Birmingham. That must have been 1965ish. The CFT show was simply beautiful. Your review reminded me of how it was to see this spectacular show as a young person. I loved the singing and Maria and the family’s story, but wasn’t keen on the kissy bits either then….. Love reading your reviews, so please keep writing them. Xx

  3. That’s a fantastic in depth review Tom. I think you’re right that the singing was incredible and every song was perfectly performed. We saw it this afternoon and loved it. I’m very jealous that you got to meet some of the cast.

  4. Thanks Tom! I’d thought about going to see this and now indefinitely will! I’ll close my eyes for the smoochy bits too lol and good tip about the ice cream

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