Richard Wise’s iconic 1965 film starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer has become the ultimate must watch Christmas movie so what better time of year for an excellent stage adaptation to begin a Dublin run at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. Here are a few of our favourite things.
The year is 1938 and Maria Rainer, a young Austrian nun played by Lucy O’Byrne, has been asked by Mother Abbess (soprano Celine Byrne) to leave the abbey. She is to become governess for Captain Georg Von Trapp and his seven children.
Captain Von Trapp, played by former Eastender’s actor Neil McDermott, is a moody, retired naval officer who runs the household with an iron fist. The pair clash as Maria bonds with the children through music including classic Rodgers and Hammerstein numbers like ‘My Favourite Things’, ‘Edelweiss’, ‘So Long, Farewell’ and ‘Sixteen Going on Seventeen’.
O’Byrne, from Baldoyle in Dublin, has developed into a West End star since finishing runner-up in the UK version of The Voice in 2015. She owns the role of a sprightly, care free Maria who begins to win the Captain over as he sees the impression she’s having on his children, especially 16-year-old Liesl, assuredly played by Katie Shearman.
The production is uplifting, fun and delicately handles the sensitive themes of national identity and Nazism in 1930’s Austria. Although the story is familiar to most, the presence of a live orchestra, and several songs not featured in the movie, give proceedings a fresh feel. The all-singing, all-dancing ensemble never put a foot wrong during the two-and-a-half-hour production.
Put simply, this is the perfect family, Christmas night out. Don’t miss it.
The Sound of Music, directed by Martin Connor, runs at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre until January, 6th. Tickets are available here.