Review: Chesterfield Operatic Society delights with The Sound of Music

Max Detweiler - Georgii Bailey - Maria - David Walters - Captain George Von Trapp
Max Detweiler - Georgii Bailey - Maria - David Walters - Captain George Von Trapp
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It’s one of the most popular musicals of all time, with some of the best known songs, including Do Re Mi, My Favourite Things and the glorious Climb Every Mountain. Chesterfield Operatics’ production of The Sound of Music is attracting large audiences to the Pomegranate this week.

The show has a serious theme, but I challenge anyone not to smile at the squabbling nuns, the engaging children (especially Darci Wilson as Brigitta, the outspoken one and Chloe Monks as tiny Gretl), and especially at upbeat, feisty Maria.

New leading lady Georgina Bailey is in her first role with the company, but you’d never know it. Not only does she sing like a nightingale; she radiates such warmth and sunshine that it’s no surprise that she thaws Captain von Trapp’s frozen heart, and remains optimistic even when things get a lot gloomier in Act Two.

The Captain is another new voice for the society, though David Walters is no stranger to the stage or to the role; he played von Trapp with Present Company a few years ago, and has a wealth of experience of musical theatre.

As well as the newcomers there are plenty of familiar faces on stage. Veteran player Sue Siddall is the Mother Abbess, and Alison Doram, Roseanna Sanderson and Tammy Marsh Beresford also don the nun’s habit. Judith Doram is Frau Schmidt the Captain’s housekeeper and Dawn Melloy his would-be fiancée. Karl Brennan, Doug Melloy and Ian Jones are party guests and Tony Winfield is an ebullient Max Detweiler.

Jessica Sharratt shows great promise as sixteen-going-on-seventeen Liesl, and Nathan Wragg’s Brownshirt with a heart Rolf makes his mark.

First night nerves got the better of a few people at Tuesday’s performance, resulting in the occasional duff note, but I’m willing to bet most of the audience were too busy being enchanted to notice.

‘Alleluia,’ sang the nuns, and Alleluia it is for another Operatics success. It runs till Saturday, November 23.

LYNNE PATRICK