The most saccharine of the Rodgers and Hammerstein oeuvre gets an outing from Fareham Musical Society this week, but FMS swims against the tide of treacle and pulls off a very respectable show.
A lot of that can be laid at the door of musical director Val Tucker. The songs are taken at a rollicking pace, the diction is pretty much spot-on and (apart from one excruciating flat note on opening night) the tone is full, round and lovely and the band is excellent.
As Maria, Alexandra Maclean steps neatly out of Miss Andrews’s shadow and does her own thing – and darn successfully. Vocally stronger in the bigger, beltier numbers, there’s still not a lot wrong with her ballads.
Jonathan Redwood makes a fine Captain too and the romantic tension between them during the ländler is great – and Julie Brombley’s Mother Abbess delivers a bombshell Climb Ev’ry Mountain.
Opening night saw Amelie Morris, Olivia Riggs, Amy Curd, Tristan Redwood, Keighly Smith, Finlay Hughes and Sophie Wodward as the children – and they were top-notch, too, delivering the goods in spades.
What let the show down in a big way were the noisy, intrusive, sometimes just plain wrong scene changes.
The cast should expect better from their technical crew.