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Year 13 student Sophie Phipson reviews the Royal High School’s production of this musical classic

Amidst the hubbub of excitement a solitary song chimes out. This is a touchingly intimate opening for the Royal High School Bath GDST’s production of The Sound of Music. Set beneath the intricately painted mural of the Austrian hills, the play certainly was ‘alive with music’. With a live orchestra on stage, exceptionally talented singers and vibrant dancers, all the elements that make musicals so enchanting were carefully considered.

After the isolation of the pandemic, it is a heartening sight to see such a collaborative effort. This production awarded places for over 120 students that were perfectly suited to their individual talents and interests. The set itself was animated by the students’ enthusiasm. Dancers cleverly weaved through the cast as grass moving through the breeze and swirled blue cloth as the river which added a fascinating expressionist angle to the performance.

The director, Leanne Vincent-Norgate, successfully managed to ensure that the cast and crew gained not only a greater understanding of theatre but also of the impact of storytelling, both in accordance with the time The Sound of Music was written and to a contemporary audience. It is no small feat to produce such a classic play and to do so with so many involved but the outcome was incredibly successful.

The abundance of students also allowed for bonds to be formed amongst the cast members. Evie Helps, a Year 12 student who plays Mother Abbess in Cast Hammerstein, enthused that the play has been a wonderful experience for the younger pupils to learn from the older ones and for everyone to connect with people they otherwise might not have come across. This friendly feeling is evident in the strong ensemble work displayed throughout the play.

It was wonderful to see how suited each cast member was to her role. Isabel Wright’s Maria exquisitely captured the joyous spirit of the governess. The children doted on her every word, even the sassy Brigitta. Special mention must be extended to the goat which was made and performed by the creative Ruby Rosemann, which was the star of the puppeteer sequence and a marvellous embodiment of the children’s imagination.

Both in the solos and the choir pieces, the singing was brilliant. Coupled with the phenomenal talent of the orchestra, the music succeeded in ensuring that the play was one of the school’s best productions to date.

The Sound of Music’s eternal message of hope is one that is particularly relevant in our current situation. Royal High’s interpretation is artistic and full of spirit which further captures the optimistic ideal that singing and remembering your favourite things makes the world a brighter place.