Hawick Town Hall came alive with The Sound of Music on Tuesday as Act 1 Youth community theatre brought the 1959 show back to the town 34 years after its last outing there.
Now it its fourth year, the youth theatre group decided to embrace a new challenge with this performance, inviting adult members from different parts of the community to come on board.
The result is an impeccably performed feelgood production that will leave audiences humming the tunes as they leave the hall and wishing they were Sixteen, Going On Seventeen.
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s best-known numbers are delivered with enthusiasm, understanding and skill.
From Deborah Lyons’ glorious opening notes as the Mother Abbess, not to mention her roof-raising rendition of Climb Ev’ry Mountain, through to emotional final numbers Edelweiss and So Long, Farewell, this is a show not to be missed.
Starring as Maria Rainer, Rachel Inglis is funny, passionate and altogether charming. A well-known face on the opera circuit, Rachel, one of Act 1 Youth Theatre’s weekly tutors, is note perfect throughout.
Maria’s naive impulsiveness is looked on with kindly indulgence by the wise old mother, who, scratching her head over How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, packs her off to take a job as governess to naval officer Captain Von Trapp’s seven children.
Maria teaches the children to sing and, of course falls in love with their father, played in his debut acting role by Hawick’s official song singer, Michael Aitken.
He says he was surprised when he was asked to play Captain von Trapp, but from his first, delightful notes as he joins in with the children’s reprise of The Sound of Music, that move will be far from surprising to anyone else.
Mairi Johnston as the oldest von Trapp Liesl and Alexander Edwards as her delivery boy love interest Rolf shine in their charming rendition of Sixteen Going On Seventeen, while Kim Jeffrey and Craig Douglas provide comic relief as the wordly Baroness Elsa Schraeder and the dapper Max Detweiler, a music promoter who wishes to sign up the von Trapp septet.
And while the adults’ performances, not least a number of beautiful acapella turns by the nuns’ chorus, were on point, they failed to outshine the youngsters’.
The von Trapp children melt your heart, especially in So Long, Farewell.
Hope Stewart as the straight-talking Brigitta and Carla Porter as the rebel, Louisa, both made impressive turns while Aiden Cannon and Faris Alkhoury as Fredrich and Kurt respectively never faltered.
The youngest siblings, Marta (Marley Domingo) and Gretl (Rylee Domingo) were adorable, with their contribution in Goodbye sure to bring a tear to the eye.
This sweet-natured, warm-hearted production leaves you wanting to Climb Every Mountain and excited to see what the supremely talented Act 1 will do next.
○ The Sound of Music is at Hawick Town Hall until Saturday, April 20. Tickets are available from ILF Imaging or on the door.