The show is full of cherished tunes – “My favourite things”, “Do-Re-Mi”, “The Hills Are Alive…”, “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”, and many more, all given the BHS treatment under the direction of music teacher, Cameron Mabon.
The well-known story sees a young trainee nun, Maria Rainer, enter the house of Captain Von Trapp as the governess to his seven children. There, she brings music and happiness back into their lives amidst the turbulent political climate of the Nazi Anschluss of Austria. Aided by a 1930s Simon Cowell in the form of Max Detweiller, the Von Trapp family find fame as an a cappella choir and ultimately escape to a new life.
Taking on the role Julie Andrews made her own in the 1965 film version are S5 pupils Amy Clark (Wed/Fri) and Xenia Garden (Thurs/Sat). Both bring a wealth of stage experience to the role of Maria and give performances of real maturity and depth. Opposite them as the rather severe Captain Von Trapp is S6 pupil Ewan Steady, who leaves the school this year to pursue a career in musical theatre. Joining them are Bernie Owtram as the Captain’s would-be love interest, Elsa Schraeder, and Rory Hamilton as the ebullient Max.
The show is very much about the Von Trapp children, played by a gaggle of talented pupils from S1 and S2 who bring a great deal of energy to the production. The story has everything – from the children’s light-hearted rendition of “The Lonely Goatherd” to the heart-felt emotion of “Climb Every Mountain” (sung with enormous conviction by Mother Abbess, Madeline Cawthorn); from the tragedy of the Nazi occupation to the excitement of the fledgling romance between Liesl Von Trapp (Olivia Cummings) and her beau Rolf (Barnaby Bevan).
The show takes place at The Berwickshire High School from Wednesday 15 to Friday June 17 at 7.30pm, with a matinee performance at 2pm on Saturday June 18. Tickets are available from the school or from Nairns in Duns, priced £8/5 or £25 for a family.