THE hills of Port Sunlight will be alive with the Sound of Music later this month!
Rock Ferry Operatic Society is bringing the much-loved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical to the Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight for five nights.
For the uninitiated, the show tells the story of novice nun Maria, sent out of her convent to be governess to the seven von Trapp children.
Famous songs from the show include My Favourite Things, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, Do-Re-Mi and The Lonely Goatherd.
Two sets of young performers have been cast to play the younger members of the family on alternate nights, with the adults in the cast led by Hannah Thomas as Maria and Iain Tyrell as Captain von Trapp.
Elizabeth Salter, chairman of the society, said it had long been their ambition to bring the musical to the amateur stage.
But their plans were temporarily thwarted by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s televised search for the next Maria.
She told the News: “We’ve wanted to do it for quite a long time because it meant we could involve local children but while Lloyd Webber did his How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? show it was withdrawn from amateur groups.
“About twelve months ago we noticed it was available again so we leapt in and were granted the licence to perform it.
“The youngsters playing the von Trapp children are exceptional, they really are, and they’re an absolute delight to work with.
“It’s more work because two sets of children are being trained and there are a lot of scenes but they’ve learned some difficult music.
“They’re keen, enthusiastic, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!”
Thea Sheppard, Robert Hilton and Chloe Hayward will play the older von Trapp children Liesl, Friedrich and Louisa.
Christopher Wilkinson (Kurt), Megan Basford (Brigitta), Annabel Partington-Smith (Marta) and Hannah Thornborough (Gretl) will perform on Wednesday, Friday and in the Saturday matinee show.
The same roles will be portrayed by Che Cullen, Eleanor Hilton, Freya Ebbrell and Emilia Lodge on Tuesday, Thursday and for the Saturday evening performance.
Elizabeth said: “For the first time for this show we won’t have painted background.
“We’re using computerised back projections to show the mountains and the abbey, which will give the show a different twist.”
After the Sound of Music the society will be performing a series of concerts in April and May on the theme of songs from the shows.
l Performances of The Sound of Music are from March 20 to 24 March at 7.30 pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2.30 pm.
Tickets are £12 and £10 or £40 for a family ticket from 208 9300, the theatre box office 643 8757, or online at www.gladstonetheatre.org.uk