The Sound of Music at Regent’s Park
The audience was absolutely buzzing throughout the performance of The Sound of Music at Regent’s Park this week. This stunning open-air theatre has been combined with a gorgeous setting and remarkable cast, creating a truly brilliant show.
From the outset it is clear that director Rachel Kavanaugh has made the most of the lush gardens around the stage. The cast interacts naturally with the plant life, moving through it and the audience with ease. In many outdoor shows the performance can be swamped by the surroundings, but this is not the case here. The nature simply enhances the story and makes the acoustics of the theatre all the more impressive. The sound of the live orchestra behind the set is intoxicating when combined with the voices of the cast.
Charlotte Wakefield is charming and full of energy as Maria. Her voice is beautiful and she acts with passion, as does Michael Xavier as Captain von Trapp. Of course, one of the real treats of this show is in watching the outrageously talented kids who play the von Trapp children. They are not only very focused and skilled, but also absolutely adorable. The audience could not get enough of them, with Sarah Huttlestone as little Gretl being a clear favourite.
What is particularly brilliant about this cast (alongside the superb voices and delightful children) is their ability to create both hilarious comedy and gripping tension; the show fully embraces both the humour and the grim history surrounding its story. An incredibly striking moment is created when Captain von Trapp stands alone centre stage, singing in an attempt to save his family, while Nazi guards and flags surround him. It is a beautiful reminder that musicals can cover serious subject matter just as well as straight theatre can.
This renewal of the classic The Sound of Music is surprisingly fresh and exciting. Funny and uplifting, the show makes marvellous use of the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. It is a delight to watch.
The Sound of Music is on at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre until 7th September 2013, for further information or to book visit here.