The Sound of Music
There is a moment, quite near the end of this mostly jolly musical, when Nazi Germany comes to Edinburgh. The hairs stand up on the back of your neck, and it’s almost possible to imagine what life under the swastika was really like.
Other than that, the show does exactly what you would expect it to: songs are sung, curtains are turned into costumes, family wounds are healed and the local convent loses a nun. No more, no less. Which is perhaps a little disappointing from what is regularly termed the most popular musical of all time.
An impressive set does much to take us from the house of God to the Von Trapp residence, and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s songs have lost none of their allure. Yet despite this, the show lacks that certain spark that gladdens the soul.
Having triumphed on the BBC’s How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria, Connie Fisher is suitably feisty but fair in the lead role. But vocally, it’s hard for her – indeed anyone – to hold a candle to Julie ‘four octaves’ Andrews.
The real stars of the show – as their voluminous applause at the curtain call clearly demonstrates – are the cute but highly professional Von Trapp children and Margaret Preece as the Mother Abbess, who could climb pretty much any mountain with her stunning vocal range.
Edinburgh Playhouse, until Sat 20 Feb