Arriving at the Haymarket with inevitable preconceptions of the 1965 film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical, the full house that stood to applaud the BATS production of The Sound of Music left the Basingstoke theatre fully enamored after witnessing a wonderful show.
Such a faithful adaptation, with - so many fine cast performances, you had to keep reminding yourself these were amateurs on stage.
From her beginnings in the Nonnberg Abbey to winning the trust of the family Von Trapp and the -escape through the mountains, Theresa Lunn excelled in the lead role as Maria. Her zest for life and lovely singing voice convincingly broke down the barriers within the eminent Austrian family.
The scene where the children are finally embraced by their father was especially poignant. Sarah Cahalarn as Liesl employed her superb vocal range to really hold together the family Von Trapp’s renditions of so many classic Rodgers and Hammerstein compositions.
But it was five-year-old Stephanie' Bale as Gretl who stole every scene she was - in, and there were grins galore in anticipation of her "cuckoo" in So Long, Farewell.
Nights like this are theatre at its best.