Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna, a British schoolteacher whom the King brings to teach his many wives and children.
Ruthie Ann Miles
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Nice try, but why watch this when you can watch the film
While I appreciate the creative decision behind the BBC's idea to show a live musical for Christmas 2015, my main problem is with the musical of choice. THE SOUND OF MUSIC film, starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, is one of the heavyweights of the genre, a much-loved classic. How could this production, no matter how slick, ever hope to reach the same heights?
The answer is that it doesn't, of course. This TV version of THE SOUND OF MUSIC is acceptable, but hardly of the same quality as the movie. The set-bound locales, for instance, just don't offer the same kind of spectacle as the Alps. The acting is also of a different, much lower calibre. I like Kara Tointon and her fresh-faced beauty; I have done ever since EASTENDERS. But her singing voice is acceptable rather than beautiful, and her acting leaves much to be desired. She's the kind of actress better in support than in a demanding leading role like the one here.
Still, there are high points, not least a nice supporting role for Alexander Armstrong, a guy who most definitely CAN sing. David Bamber (TV's ROME) is always a pleasure too, as is Katherine Kelly. But the inclusion of the awful Mel Giedroyc smacks of nepotism (her sister directed the thing), and Julian Ovenden has no charisma whatsoever. The live angle means that there are a few bloopers here, which I found made the thing more interesting, but even so, this version is a one-off curiosity piece rather than something to come back to.
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