When it comes to the Sound of Music, it is time to come clean - I am a big fan. While I have not done a pilgrimage to Salzburg or changed by name to Maria, the film version of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical has been part of my life since I was a child.
So when I heard the Gloucester Operatic and Dramatic Society (GODS) were doing a production of my favourite musical, I snapped up a pair of tickets. The cast had big boots to fill - after all how could an amateur show replicate Julie Andrews singing at the top of her voice on an Austrian mountain or a big West End production?
Well, I need not fear, as the GODS cast and crew brought all the magic of the stage and screen hit to life at Gloucester Guildhall.
High praise must go to Joy-Amy Wigman who played Maria. From the minute she stepped on stage, she was everything the character should be with her crystal clear voice and a delightful whimsical take on the role. Her scenes with the seven Von Trapp children were the highlight of the show.
In particular, the musical numbers such as Do-Re-Mi and the Lonely Goatherd were a delight to watch. There is another Maria taking to the stage on certain shows this week as well as two sets of children and I watched the youngsters of team blue perform with Joy-Amy. They were brilliant and showed real comic timing and vocal talent.
Special praise must also go the nuns whose harmonies were just lovely and Marie Dickinson as Mother Abbess hit the high notes with gusto during her rendition of the ambitious Climb Ev'ry Mountain.
For those of you who do not know the plot, it is the story of a novice nun Maria who falls in love with widower Captain Von Trapp when she arrives as the governess to his children. This all takes place as the Nazi's invade the Captain's beloved Austria. While some may feel the film is rather saccharine sweet, the GODS' version does address the darker elements of the storyline and the balance between the light hearted musical numbers and the more serious side of the plot was struck well.
It was a rather long show and the odd scene change and musical number could have been tighter but on the whole, I had a smile on my face from start to finish. If you want to solve a problem of how to spend a night out this week, get yourself a ticket.