Bristol Theatre News

The Sound of Music at The Bristol Hippodrome Review

The Sound of Music - credit Pamela Raith (6)


Our Verdict: Thoroughly enjoyable production
Our Rating: 10/10

It’s an enchanting production of The Sound of Music at The Bristol Hippodrome, delighting its multigenerational audience with a top quality reproduction of the much loved movie and stage show.

In this performance, Jessica Daley, played the postulant with a passion for music and a knack for putting her foot in it. Despite appearing barely older than tricky teen Liesl, she was the beating heart of the Von Trapp family, moving from nervy nun to the stongly principled and supportive wife and mother.

She differs from the Julie Andrews we all know and love and it’s hard to get past this initially if it’s the first time you’ve seen the stage show.

But Jessica is wonderful. Her singing is fabulous. She naturally takes charge of the children when leading through the energetic set pieces, notably Do-Re-Mi, with both youthful vibrance yet a growing maternal side.

If, in the unlikely situation there is anyone who has never seen the original film, the storyline is pretty much as follows:

Nun meets man. Nun leaves man. Man meets other woman. Nun gets man back. Plus there are tribulations of taming the seven unruly Von Trapp children, fleeing the Nazis and climbing a bloody big mountain.

Transitioning from nun to mum must have been eased by the fantastic talent of the six young Von Trapp children who had a lovely rapport with Jessica.

Snappy scene changes were eased by a clever set that alternated between the Von Trapps’ home, Nonnberg Abbey with the omnipresent mountains always in the background.

The sound design was also noticeably excellent, moving us from the echoing cloisters of the abbey, to large stately living rooms.

Grace Chapman channelled the original Charmian Carr, for her performance of Liesl. Enhanced by costume and choreography, there was also Carr’s familiar looks, mannerisms and innocent vulnerability whilst being on the cusp of adulthood recognisable to her performance.

But undoubtedly, the Moment of the Show had to be the scenes when Jan Hartley as the Mother Abbess practically enshrined the auditorium with the shining light of God with her absolutely marvellous rendition of Climb Ev’ry Mountain.

It’s quite a lengthy show, running at 2 hours 45 minutes including an interval, but that’s improvement on the whopping 3.10 hours of the 1965 movie.

The Sound of Music is at The Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 04 July 2015