New Mills AO&DS

Director: Sheryl Haydock-Howorth

Musical Director: Claire Sweeney

Choreographer: Sheryl Haydock-Howorth


The Derbyshire hills were alive with Richard Rodger’s evergreen music enjoyed by a capacity house. The recognisable locations were captured in Stage a Show scenery and Thespis Theatrical Costume delightfully dressed the characters. The production benefitted from the lighting and sound designs finishing off the theatrical picture.


Traditionally directed, this show, with fairy tale values, is a crowd pleaser for which a strong cast is needed. The M.D and the fine orchestra encapsulated Rodgers’ well-known score.


The ensemble, and the sisters of Nonnberg Abbey, contributed to the developing do–re-mi story. Angela Hulme gave a confident portrayal of the Mother Abbess and a fine rendition of “Climb Ev’ry Mountain”. Supporting and cameo roles were well cast, in particular, Joyce Willis as Frau Schmidt, the naval captain’s housekeeper.


Baron von Trapp is on the lookout for a new bride and a mother for his seven children. The wealthy Elsa Schraeder accepts the captain’s proposal. Beverly Eaves brought a charm and sophistication to the role. Aiding in the romance is the unscrupulous “Uncle”, Max Detweiler. Gary Ward, with bundles of character, entertained as Max, the impresario of the Salzburg festival. The engagement does not last long as Elsa is not prepared to stand up to the Nazis.


The Von Trapp family obeyed their father like obedient dogs as he called them with his bosun’s whistle. The female Head of the family is Liesl, who is sixteen going on seventeen, and experiencing her first romance with Rolf. Melissa Steele portrayed a heartfelt, vulnerable teenager singing sweetly, especially the duet with Rolf (Sam Bolton). The relationship soon ends with Rolf’s new ideology. The other six children were delightful with joyous energy: they stole the audience’s hearts, as well as Maria’s.


Robbie Carnegie displayed all the necessary traits of the frosty, emotionally distant, Captain Georg von Trapp. I know the script is a little abrupt on how Maria and Georg finally fall in love but I felt Maria read a little more between the lines than was on display. Filling the shoes of Maria, Kim Cooper, with ungainly cheerfulness breezed her way into the role. Her chemistry with the children gave the show warmth and gained audience approval making this production of The Sound of Music one of their favourite things.


The production celebrated the refurbishing of the Arts Theatre