Sound of Music_Marina Prior_David James
Marina Prior and David James in The Sound of Music. Photo by James Morgan.

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It’s been quite a year for major musicals in Sydney and December does not show any signs of slowing down, the hills are alive with the ceremonious return of the world’s favourite musical––the London Palladium production of The Sound of Music has landed at the Capitol Theatre.

We caught up with David James, who steps into the role of Uncle Max Detweiler. “It’s a very lavish, beautiful production, and all the bells and whistles are certainly on it for our Australian tour,” said David.

“I think in some respects shows like The Sound of Music are sort of victims of their own iconic status… the less generous ones amongst us might sort of dismiss it as a bit of light froth and bubble,” David reflected. “But in fact like many great Rodgers and Hammerstein pieces, South Pacific comes to mind immediately, it’s actually set against a very real and quite sinister backdrop… the Nazi element, the growing fear of what was happening in Austria at the time is very present, and I think that gives it a terrific weight.”

David’s career has spanned more than two decades––from leading theatre, to film, to Playschool, to Avenue Q. He is joined by heavyweights Cameron Daddo (Captain Georg Von Trapp) and Marina Prior (Baroness Schraeder), along with relative newcomer Amy Lehpamer who plays Maria.

The cast will certainly get to know each other well, taking the show to Brisbane, Melbourne and wrapping up in Adelaide in September. A never-ending rotation of Von Trapp children will keep things fresh though, with only Stefanie Jones being a constant fixture as Liesl Von Trapp while the rest of the children will be reincarnated in three sets of actors, 18 children all up for each city. “It’s an added complication in one sense, but it’s also an added bonus, they’re adorable, they’ll walk away with people’s hearts I suspect,” explained David, laughingly.

“Often imitated, never surpassed… it’s a wonderful family show, kids will adore it, all the hit songs are all there and they’re all beautifully performed… but also, hopefully it will have people walking away going ‘wow, I didn’t know that The Sound of Music was also THAT!’” (AM)

Until Feb 28. Capitol Theatre, 13 Campbell Street, Haymarket. From $79.90. Tickets & info: soundofmusictour.com.au or ticketmaster.com.au