|…And when all was said, sung, and done, the glory of homeland Edelweiss inspired the Austrian hearts to defy those Nasties after all. The snow fell, the music soared, the mountains called, and Maria saved her Captain and his children! Hurrah! I confess, one or two of us in the audience wiped away three or four tears. Between us, of course.
There is something bewitching about musicals – the suspension of disbelief as the music and the songs weave in and out of the spoken word makes for a little bit of magic, and there was plenty of that on show in the Seckford Theatre. From the hypnotic opening of the nuns at prayer to the circle completed at the curtain’s call by the Mother Abbess herself, this was a story that flew along on the wings of love. Seven children in glorious rank order of size, and even more glorious harmony, looked every bit the family as they shrieked at thunder, spun the bed, learnt of musical scales and of loving, and loving again. The Captain’s staff offered a charmingly cheeky deference that belied an obvious fondness for their master. Max did as Max will do – pleasing himself and all around him, and Frau Schraeder with charming honesty did the decent thing by the Captain. What would any of us have done in those times, eh? Not, we hope as Rolf (but good for him at the end!), or the Barons and Baronesses, the Admiral or Boo Hiss Zeller.
So the innocent and Godly nuns and their Abbess saved the day, and the mountains did the rest. The Nasties were thwarted, and our finest of Captains with impeccable honour and a firm hand at the metaphorical till rediscovered his heart and his children, and took the hand of our most beguiling of postulants – our Maria, whose eyes shone with a fervour of goodness that swept all before her.
It’s a wonderful story, and the intimacy of the setting was so beautifully enhanced by the quite outstanding performance of the Band and the fabulously versatile set. On stage, the quality of the singing, as well as, of course, the acting, took us into the heart of Salzburg, and the von Trapps completely into our hearts. Thank you. Thank you, cast, Band, and crew in all your guises. And to those with the vision to bring it all together – directors of stage, music, song and dance – our most heartfelt of congratulations.