The Sound of Music
Cork Opera House
More than half a century since the original musical first opened, on Broadway, The Sound of Music is still relevant in its examination of the tensions between self, state and society.
This version was a solid professional production, staged by a local team who have honed their craft in recent years. Musical direction was assured under David Hayes, and it is a testament to its director, Bryan Flynn, that little outside talent was needed to stage a production that wasn’t too far off national touring standards.
That’s not to say it wasn’t without its problems. The staging could have been a lot more inventive, and relying on very visible backlights took from rather than added to the action. There were also sound issues, which caused some feedback.
Many of the accents suggested some of the cast had overdone the Downton Abbey box sets. The odd time a “z” was thrown in at the end of a name or sentence, which reminded you that the musical is set in Salzburg, not Somerset. (Ian McGuirk as Herr Zeller was one of the exceptions.)
These are minor quibbles. Cara O’Sullivan was at the top of her game vocally as Mother Abbess (her acting was not as assured), and as a singing troupe all the nuns were very powerful. Carol-Anne Ryan pitched Maria perfectly: fully credible as a character, superbly sung and giving Maria a maturity she deserves. Trevor Ryan, who has matured into a fine comic and character actor, stole most of the scenes he appeared in as Max. Michael Sands, as Capt von Trapp, displayed a strong voice but was perhaps the least credible characterwise.
Some of the audience sang along for the main numbers, and one person, sitting in front of me, directed most of it from deep in the stalls.
Until August 18th