REVIEW | The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music

Timeless Tale, Timeless Triumph: The Sound of Music Charms and Inspires

Reviewed by Brendan Daynes

Nestled within the majestic walls of Melbourne’s National Theatre, rising musical theatre company Theatrical has brought forth a dazzling rendition of of one of musical theatre’s most cherished classics, The Sound of Music. From the first stirring chords to the final triumphant notes, this production is a radiant celebration of love, resilience, and the enduring power of music.

This timeless tale follows the journey of Maria, a spirited young woman who leaves her convent life to become a governess for the seven children of widowed naval captain, Georg von Trapp. As Maria introduces joy and music into the Von Trapp household, she forms a bond with the children and softens the heart of their stern father. However, their tranquility is shattered by the shadow of Nazi Germany, forcing Captain von Trapp to confront a difficult choice. With faith, courage, and the transformative power of music, Maria leads the family on a daring escape across the Austrian Alps to freedom, embodying the enduring themes of love, family, and resilience against adversity.

Tayla Dwyer’s portrayal of Maria serves as the cornerstone of the production. Her performance is truly outstanding, capturing the essence of Maria’s journey with unwavering authenticity and grace. Dwyer effortlessly transitions from spirited enthusiasm to profound introspection, captivating the audience and immersing them into Maria’s world. John Parncutt as the stoic Captain is commanding as he navigates the character’s journey from stern patriarch to compassionate father figure. His vocals resonate with emotional depth, enriching the character’s journey with poignant sincerity. The Von Trapp children, brought to life by a gifted ensemble of young actors, shine brightly on stage. Led by Charlotte Holland as Liesl, Damon Willis and Luca Moutsos as Friedrich, Stephanie Adamson and Niki Georgas as Louisa, Matteo Maxwell and Ethan Lockhart as Kurt, Ruby McGrath and Jessica Brown as Brigitta, Xoli McGinnes and Ayda Melody Hendricks as Marta, and Adeline Baker and Penelope Amato-Gifford as Gretl, their collective talent and charisma leave a lasting impression on the audience.

The supporting cast shines just as brightly, each member bringing their own unique talents to the stage. Amanda Stevens delivers a powerhouse performance as Mother Abbess, her rendition of Climb Ev’ry Mountain serving as a soaring testament to the power of faith and resilience. Brett O’Mera impresses as Max Detweiler, infusing the character with wit and charm, while Kate Thurkle commands the stage as the formidable Baroness Schraeder. Kael D’Alterio embodies Rolf Gruber with youthful innocence. Shivanii Cameron is strict yet caring as Frau Schmidt, while Keren Evans and Manon Franiatte shine as Sister Berthe and Margaretta, respectively, bringing depth and authenticity to their roles. Christine Wood and Mark Curran round out the ensemble with their stellar performances as Sister Sophia and Herr Zeller, adding layers of complexity to the production’s rich tapestry of characters.

Behind the scenes, the creative team has crafted a visual and auditory feast for the senses. Under the guidance of director Karen Shnider, this production is not merely a revival of classic, but a vibrant tapestry of emotion and storytelling. Shnider’s vision infuses each scene with poignancy and depth, deftly exploring themes of family, courage, and the pursuit of dreams. Musical director Kent Ross leads a stellar orchestra, whose lush arrangements and soaring melodies transport the audience to the hills of Austria. Suzie Pappas’ choreography is both elegant and dynamic, infusing each dance number with energy and grace. The set design, lighting, and costumes are equally impressive, transporting audiences to a bygone era with stunning attention to detail.

The Sound of Music stands as a triumph in every regard. With its stellar performances, grand production values, and timeless narrative, it encapsulates the essence of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved classic. Whether you’re a lifelong enthusiast or a newcomer to this of musical theatre classic, this is an experience not to be missed.

The Sound of Music is playing at the National Theatre in Melbourne until March 17th. For more information or to purchase tickets visit

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