facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11

The Sound Of Music at the London Palladium

First Published 17 April 2008, Last Updated 30 May 2018

The hills were definitely alive last night – in fact they were tilting and moving too – as The Sound Of Music opened at the London Palladium. In a year dominated by much-hyped musicals, this one might have had even more publicity than the others thanks to the BBC search for a star, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? The winner, Connie Fisher, took to the stage last night to rapturous cheers from the first night audience. Matthew Amer was there to see it.

Three months ago the nation had never heard of Connie Fisher and she was only dreaming of appearing in the West End. Yesterday evening she was every inch the leading lady as she lounged on a grass-covered hill, singing in a daydream. She is, of course, playing Maria, the nun who’s not quite right for abbey life so is sent to be governess to seven children who are professionals at forcing governesses away.

Their father, the ex-naval Captain Von Trapp, still wrecked by the death of his wife, has given the children a military upbringing, fearing to get close to them. A light, caring, and probably musical, touch is just what the family needs to bring it together.

That is, of course, just what it gets, with the children threatening to steal the show away from the adult leads every time they sing together. Do-Re-Mi, The Lonely Goatherd and So Long, Farewell, with their dance routines (choreographed by Arlene Phillips) and simple innocence, all received extended applause from the appreciative audience.

This is not to say that the adult cast was entirely overshadowed. Lesley Garrett’s opera pedigree shone through as she made her musical debut in the role of the Mother Abbess, giving her a warm, motherly feel. Alexander Hanson, thrust into the role of Captain Von Trapp just last week following the departure of Simon Shepherd, looked like he’d been through a whole rehearsal period rather than a couple of previews.

And then, of course, there’s Fisher, who, if you didn’t know, you would never believe was picked from a reality television show. Although there are times when you can see Julie Andrews in her performance, this is not an imitation of the film; she has made the part her own. In addition to the singing voice heard by millions of television viewers throughout the summer, Fisher displays the comic timing of a seasoned professional.

With all the niceties it’s easy to forget that the show is set in Austria at the time of the Anschluss. It is not so easy to forget during the performance. Mysterious phone calls come from Berlin as the threat of invasion hangs over the first half like a billowing, poisonous cloud. In the second half the threat becomes real, and the transformation of the Palladium’s auditorium for the concert scene sends shivers down the spine.

Robert Jones’s set is always full of impact, and money has clearly been spent on it. From that multi-directional hill and the towering gothic arches of the abbey, to the vastness of the Von Trapp home and that concert hall, it is nothing if not striking.

Judging from last night’s reception, The Sound Of Music could be one of the West End’s favourite things for a long time.



Sign up

Related articles

Due to the current pandemic various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows. Please bear with us as we try to keep this page as up to date as possible. If you find a mistake, please let us know by emailing enquiries@soltukt.co.uk. If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.