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Horowhenua Chronicle - 2021-11-26

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Applause rings out for Sound of Music

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It might be the fourth time that the Levin Performing Arts Society have put on a production of The Sound of Music but it is proving as popular as ever. Opening night on Friday, despite having a restricted crowd due to Covid distancing regulations, was certainly well received by the audience judging by the applause. From the opening scene starting behind the transparent curtains showing the sisterhood of nuns from Nonberg Abbey, the singing and Alleluias filled the auditorium. Mother Abbess played by Kirsty Warden and ably supported by Ana Harkin (Sister Margaretta), Gail Lucinsky (Sister Berthe) and Leona Van der Heyden (Sister Sophia) were a perfect foil to each other’s opinions of what to do about “solving a problem like Maria”. The two main characters proved a good pairing. Maria, played by Marigold Ferguson, displayed all the emotions required to bring the poignancy to the role as she left, returned, and again left the abbey to a new life. Bernard O’Brien as Captain Von Trapp may have been out of his comfort zone playing a straight role like this but he brought the authoritarian and then softer side to the part successfully. Elsa (Bronya Davies) as Von Trapp’s love interest handled the rich aristocrat role with aplomb and was offset wonderfully by Florian Shrimpf as Maximillian. The von Trapp children were certainly the hit of the show. Leisl (Devaney Prosser-Hill), Louisa, (Charli O’Brien), Frederick (Aster Ferguson), Brigitta (Penny Tulloch) Kurt (Bostyn O’Brien), Marta (Saorise Williamson) Gretl (Petra Davies) all brought the stage to life with their performances. Leisl’s duet with Rolf (Oliver Bau) singing Sixteen Going on Seventeen showed the talent coming through. Complementing all these were of course the ensemble — the von Trapps’ staff and friends, Nuns, the German soldiers and the unforgettable scene stealers at the concert. Margaret Sanson, in her first directing role, put together another hot show for the Performing Arts Society and with Colin Taylor as musical dIrector the music was enjoyed by all. A simple — mostly static set and costumes with many colourful changes for the children, on cue lighting changes and gentle use of microphones combined to make this another must see production.

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