Classic musical hits the stage

June 06, 2017

Simon Rennie and Martina Richardson as Captain von Trapp and Maria.

When Mooroopna’s WestSide Performing Arts Centre comes alive with the sound of music, those who classify musicals as part of their favourite things are in for a treat.

The Shepparton Theatre Arts Group could not resist bringing The Sound of Music back to the stage after fi rst performing it in 1979.

This time around the production is being directed by Sean O’Brien and includes two casts of children.

“We have such a fantastic team that’s been able to work really well together and we’ve just enjoyed the whole process, it’s been quite amazing,” Sean said.

The Sound of Music follows the story of Maria, a young Austrian woman studying to become a nun at Noonberg Abbey in Salzburg in 1938.

When Maria is sent to be a governess to Captain Georg von Trapp’s seven children is when the story truly begins. Maria teaches the children to sing, marries Captain von Trapp and together they flee the German army as World War II begins.

During their adventures there is a lot of singing plus beautiful scenery sure to grab the attention of entire families.

The Sound of Music is well-known to many who have most likely seen the fi lm starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. But a stage production of The Sound of Music is nothing like a film and audiences can expect to see differences.

Musical directors Brian Davis and Sharon Leppard are excited to be involved in the production. Brian said during the performance audiences would really be able to hear the acoustic sound of the 18-piece orchestra because the stage pit would be open.

“We think that will add a lot to this particular show,” he said.

“We’re really happy that they’ve allowed us to do this,” Sharon said.

Music may make a musical but so does acting and lead actors Simon Rennie as Captain von Trapp and Martina Richardson are determined to deliver a show-stopping performance.

This is the first time Martina and Simon have starred in a STAG production but both are experienced in local theatre. Martina originally comes from the United States and now lives in Echuca Moama where she has been involved with Echuca Moama Theatre Company.

“It’s been such a fun process learning all the different songs and singing with the two casts of kids we have,” she said.

As a music teacher Martina has developed a love of singing and by extension the theatre.

“Hopefully I can capture Maria’s spirit, I think the character’s so iconic and so well-loved that there’s defi nitely a big responsibility to play it as best as you can,” she said.

For Simon, performing in The Sound of Music is something he has been waiting his entire life to do.

“This one is quite iconic so it’s been something I’ve wanted to do for a while and I’m at the right age to play (Captain von Trapp),” he said.

This is Simon’s first musical in Australia but he has performed in many stage productions in New Zealand, where he hails from.

“For many people (The Sound of Music) it’s their favourite musical so there’s a lot to live up to, people will compare it to the movie but the theatre production isn’t the same as the movie,” he said.

“There are, for obvious reasons, a few differences but the way it’s structured too is going to be different from the movie.”

Sean believes STAG’s The Sound of Music will provide audiences with a memorable performance. “It’s a story that people can absorb and connect with,” he said.

“I’m really confi dent that the audience will walk away knowing they’ve had a fantastic theatre experience.”

The Sound of Music will be at WestSide Performing Arts Centre from Friday, June 2 until Saturday, June 10.

Have you seen the STAG production? What did you think? Share your opinion in the comment section below. 

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