‘The Sound of Music’ has seemed to enchant the hearts and imaginations of millions for more than 50 years, therefore, its recent live re-enactment for ITV was bound to recapture the magic of the multi-award winning classic of 1965.
Based on the true story of the Von Trapp family singers, ‘The Sound of Music’ was transformed from the classic Rogers and Hammerstein musical to the grand set of Three Mills Studios London in an attempt of a cross-hybrid of a film and a stage performance first ever attempted on a TV platform. The ambitious two-and-a-half hour performance was performed as a one-off festive treat in what may be a bid to recapture the spirit of a timeless story this Christmas, along with the innovative edge which may come with a live performance.
The cast featured on this iconic ITV musical is lead by many familiar faces. Leading as Maria was Eastenders star Kara Tointon who may be known for her role as Rosalie in Mr Selfridge. Tointon is joined by fellow Mr. Selfridge actress Katherine Kelly who plays the Baroness Elsa Schraeder. The infamous Captain von Trapp is acted by Julian Ovenden – whom may be best known for his role in Downton Abbey as Charles Blake. This vibrant cast may contribute to engaging new audiences and bringing engagement to the original, whilst still aiming to conserve the ever-lasting message of love, strength and family.
At the centre of ‘The Sound of Music’ plot, is a family in Austria which lies within the historical setting of the Second World War, in which 1938 Austria is under Nazi occupation. Maria takes on the role of a governess to the large Von Trap family and aims to restore the magic of love to the home. Many of it’s values may re-spark the nations love for the classic story, with the ability to engage a new generation of audiences who may be encouraged to visit the original for the first time or revisit the story itself via theatre. The music remains the heart of the show in which all actors and actresses perform live songs against a pre-recorded orchestra. It showcased the infamous songs ‘My Favourite Things’, ‘Do-Re-Mi’, and ‘So Long Farewell’, which may be a pleasantly nostalgic re-emergence of some of the nation’s favourite numbers.
The TV’s Director of Entertainment and Comedy Elaine Bedell stated in a recent ITV interview this may be “ The first time in the UK this type of project has been attempted – a musical drama both performed and broadcast live – however big ambitious live television events is what ITV does well. We’ve assembled some of the very best talent both in front of and behind the camera and I am unable to wait to see it all come together.” Bedell’s statement highlights how monumental the hybridity of a scripted staged film made for television may be, creating the possibility of a potential growth in this avenue in the future.
Ted Chapin, President of Rodgers & Hammerstein: An Imagem Company adds “The Sound of Music really is in a class by itself. Since the early sixties, it has lived on as both an award winning Broadway musical and an award winning film. The notion of creating a production for live television broadcast is a large undertaking, and one we are delighted ITV has taken on for what may undoubtedly be a Christmas time treat for the whole of the UK.”
The show’s aim likely only adds to the popularity in its attempt to do justice to all elements of the story in particular with its ability to conserve the spirit of the original played by Julie Andrews. Likewise, the re-emergence of the production may see a soar in theatre interest as it may bring to light other platforms of entertainment.
How may the live re-introduction of ‘The Sound of Music’ engage new audiences?