The Sound of Music by Henfield Theatre Company

This classic show has fired the imagination of several generations since its first performances on Broadway in 1959 and in London a few years later. And there can’t be many people who haven’t seen the 1965 film starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. 

As if the beautiful music by Rodgers and Hammerstein and the endearing story aren’t enough, perhaps the wow factor comes from the knowledge that the events and people portrayed are real – well mainly! Maria von Trapp must have been quite a force to be reckoned with. Apart from her life changing effects on Captain von Trapp and his family, she inspired the production of the film and musical shows by writing a book about their lives, published in 1949. The story revealed in the film and shows portrays a remarkable Austrian family who are inspired by the nanny who comes into their lives, the postulant Nun, Maria. 

Their widowed father, Captain von Trapp, and Maria eventually fall in love but that is only the start of a series of dramatic events brought about by the rise of Nazi Germany and its annexation of Austria. The Sound of Music is exactly the right title for the story since music is central to Maria’s whole being and she uses it to great effect to inspire the family to love life, their surroundings and one another. It’s the perfect material for a stage show and it is, therefore, little wonder that it has been so successful. In Henfield we have all that to look forward to at the beginning of January when it comes to the stage, thanks to the Henfield Theatre Company (HTC). The show is directed by Di Norman, with Dave Barnett as musical director and Ann Atkins as choreographer. 

The Sound of Music will be staged at The Henfield Hall from Wednesday 1 to Saturday 4 January at 7.30pm each evening with a Saturday matinee starting at 2.30pm. Tickets (£12 / £14 for adults and £10 / £12 for under 16s), are available at www.henfieldtheatrecompany.com or at Stevens Estate Agents, Henfield. The production is kindly sponsored by The Post House Cafe. T

Upcoming Theatre Company Productions

Coming soon is the intriguing, beautifully written play, The Stepmother, by Githa Sowerby (19 to 21 March). Watch out for more details. 

Before that, HTC will be running auditions for its June production The Mysteries, by Tony Harrison. As part of the St Peter’s Church 1,250th anniversary celebrations, they are presenting a trilogy of plays, based on Bible stories. This entertaining production will include plenty of drama but also comedy and a lot of music. The auditions are on 11 and 16 February and the rehearsals will be on Mondays and Thursdays, starting 24 February. Performances will be on 18 to 20 June. Please contact Jane Haines on 07803 293380 or j.ehaines19@gmail.com. Have a go – you don’t have to be a member of HTC. 

Martin Love