The sound of musical success

Co-founder of Pickering - Polly Taylor

All this week the Assembly Hall will host the much anticipated stage version of The Sound of Music. Eileen Leahy profiles one of the entertainment industry’s most popular and timeless pieces – now temporarily transferring to Tunbridge Wells

‘CLIMB Ev’ry Mountain’, ‘My Favourite Things’, ‘Edelweiss’ – just hearing the titles of
these three show tunes instantly makes you want to break into song doesn’t it?

Well, now you can, thanks to one of the world’s best loved and successful shows, The  Sound of Music, coming to Tunbridge Wells for a week. This stage production of the classic 1960s movie, which starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer in the title roles of Maria and Baron Von Trapp, has received five-star reviews and captured the  hearts of both young and old since it started touring.

Boasting a wonderfully lavish set and the timeless music of Rodgers & Hammerstein, it
charts the true story of the world famous singing Von Trapp family from their romantic beginnings and search for happiness to their thrilling escape to freedom at the start of World War II.

Lucy O’Byrne returns to the iconic role of Maria, for which she was hailed by critics as
‘Quite possibly the best Maria since Julie Andrews herself’.

Lucy was the runner-up of BBC One’s The Voice in 2015, impressing the nation and chart-topper with her stunning vocal range. She also recently played the character of Fantine in Les Misérables in the West End.

Joining as the handsome Captain Von Trapp is TV and stage star Neil McDermott, whose
characters include playing heartthrob Ryan Malloy in EastEnders. He has also starred in
numerous West End productions such as Shrek The Musical, in which he played Lord Farquaad.

There’s no denying that the feelgood Sound of Music, produced by legendary theatre
impresario Bill Kenwright, is a classic – so if you haven’t got your tickets to see it yet then make sure you ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’ to get them. You won’t be disappointed!

The Sound of Music is on every day this week at the Assembly Hall. For tickets and timings please visit

The Sound of Music

? The main story of The Sound of Music was taken from Maria Kutschera’s 1949 memoir
The Story of the Trapp Family

? The subplot of Liesl and her romance with Rolfe, a telegraph delivery boy who became
a Nazi, was the invention of the writers

? In real life, Maria von Trapp was the taskmaster, while Baron von Trapp was a bit of a pushover. Maria set the priorities, managed the finances, and determined the artistic direction of their singing group

? When they left Austria, Baron von Trapp and Maria had already been married for
years and had two children of their own, with another on the way

? After arriving in America, The Trapp Family Singers became Columbia’s most successful choral group

? When settled in the States, they moved to Stowe in Vermont and opened the Trapp Family Lodge, which is still operational and hugely popular to this day

? Actresses who were considered to play the part of Maria before Julie Andrews
secured the role included Audrey Hepburn and Doris Day. And Christopher Plummer’s
role could have gone to crooner Bing Crosby if some producers had had their way…

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