An academy was alive with The Sound of Music when student performers staged the classic musical.

The eighth full production at Bede Academy, in Blyth, involved a cast of 33 and a crew of many more who performed a matinee for Bede South children and three evening shows for family and friends.

Set in Austria, the show tells the story of nun Maria who leaves the abbey to become governess to the seven von Trapp children, managed military-style by their widowed father Captain von Trapp.

Maria teaches the children to sing, she and the Captain fall in love and eventually they perform on stage as a family but must flee Austria to escape the Nazis.

Auditions were held in January and rehearsals started in March with Olivia Logan and Matthew Elliott taking the principal roles of Maria and the Captain.

The von Trapp children were played by Joanna Swainston, Kieran Roper, Ashleigh McMaster, Aaron Elliott-Dryden, Serena Chahal, Phoebe Harrison, and Sophie Oram and Maisie Diston who shared the role of Gretl. David Olive was Rolf Gruber and Lucy Wilkinson was Mother Abbess.

For the first time, the Academy brought in a guest director, Donna Tonkinson, while the academy’s director of music Major Aldridge and teacher Mrs Saul taught the cast the music.

Mr Clarkson played large role in the staging of each scene and Major Aldridge conducted the Academy band in each performance.

Principal Gwyneth Evans added: “The Sound of Music is a family favourite, quite different to the stirring power of our last production, Les Misérables, but the fact that it is so loved made it equally challenging for the staff and students involved.

“Their enthusiasm, dedication and passion in rehearsals was remarkable and resulted in an outstanding show of which everyone can be enormously proud.

“As the curtain came down on the final performance, there was a bittersweet feeling for several Year 13 students who had just taken part in their final production. The Sound of Music saw several new stars born, however, and we look forward to them continuing the rich tradition of Bede productions in the future.”

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