A PACKED house greeted the opening night of Harrowby Singers’ The Sound of Music and were treated to a sensational performance from new-girl Ruth Ballaam in the lead role.
Ruth, in the role of Maria, was the stand-out in an outstanding production which also featured remarkable performances from each of the seven von Trapp children.
The performance got off to an inauspicious start through no fault of the cast when a mobile phone loudly echoed around the theatre from the back of the audience during the opening song by the Nuns of Nonnberg Abbey.
However, any fears the hiccup may prove a bad omen were quickly dispelled as Ruth took to the stage to sing the “The Sound of Music”. Performing such an iconic tune on opening night must have been nerve-racking but Ruth performed with calm confidence, making the song her own rather than make an ill-advised Julie Andrews karaoke attempt.
The von Trapp children were all outstanding. Young Connie Lee as Gretyl got better and better as the show went on while middle-child Maisie Schafer, playing Louisa, stole many-a-scene.
Having never seen the film I was amazed at how many of the musical numbers I recognised - from “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” to “So Long, Farewell”. But having never seen the film I was caught a little off-guard when the Nazi stormtroopers began charging about the theatre.
The orchestra added a great deal but one criticism would be that the drums were a little too loud and sometimes drowned out the singing.
That slight concern aside it was a magnificent that all would enjoy.
l The Sound of Music will be performed at 7.30pm tonight and Saturday night with a 2.30pm matinee performance on Saturday.