Review: Maria is no problem for leading lady Lucy

Lucy O'Byrne as Maria
Lucy O'Byrne as Maria
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She might have finished runner-up in TV’s The Voice, but Lucy O’Byrne proved to be a real winner with a captivating all-round performance as Maria in The Sound of Music which opened on Wednesday night at the Broadway Theatre in Peterborough.

Making her debut in the show, leading lady Lucy made an early impression – and a huge one at that – with the first big number of the show – The Sound of Music – and her standards never dropped.

The quality of her angelic voice, which made her such a hit on the BBC singing show earlier this year, was evident time and time again as she effortlessly delivered faultless renditions of showstopper after showstopper.

She was at her best and most likeable performing with the children and D0-Re-Mi proved the first of many magical moments with the talented youngsters, who were an unexpected delight – very polished indeed – and little Gretl was oh so cute.

The chemistry with the children was perfect, but I didn’t quite feel it was there with the show’s other debutant, Coronation Street star Gray O’Brien, who was quite authoritative as the cold and empty Captain von Trapp, whose heart is melted by the governess sent to look after his children.

His performace was solid though and his voice was passable too, and the chemistry will come I am sure.

Show veteran Jan Hartley (Mother Abbess) also stood out with a lovely version of My Favourite Things with Maria, and a powerful Climb Ev’ry Mountain made for a terrific end to Act One.

The sets are impressive, the sound – particularly during the wedding when it was cathedral-like – was spot on and the lighting effective throughout.

As the song goes, How Do You Solve a Problem Called Maria? In Bill Kenwright’s case, cast Lucy O’Byrne who has true star quality.

The Sound of Music runs until December 12. More at www.thebroadwaypeterborough.co.uk