Sheffielder Steve Houghton is having a great time starring in one of the best-loved musicals of all time on home ground.
Steve plays Captain Von Trapp in a touring production of The Sound of Music at the Lyceum.
He said: “I’m loving this role. It’s different from anything I’ve done before as this is more like a play than a musical, it’s mainly dialogue based.”
The Penistone Grammar School old boy said that he had to put Christopher Plummer’s film version of the role out of his head: “I just try to play it as true to my interpretation of that kind of role as possible.
“You put yourself into the character’s shoes and try and feel your way through it. It would be absurd to copy anyone else.
“It’s such an iconic film and everyone knows the characters.”
His research into the real Von Trapp family helped, he said, but it showed up differences. “The musical’s not actually true to the story. Maria wasn’t the same kind of character as Julie Andrews played. She wasn’t as fun and free.”
Steve, who played Gregg Blake in London’s Burning, certainly has plenty of experience of the musical stage.
His first job was in the cast of Children of Eden and he has appeared in Cats, Miss Saigon, Spend, Spend, Spend, Martin Guerre, Blood Brothers, Annie Get Your Gun, Desperately Seeking Susan and many more over a 20-year career.
He said: “Initially I trained as a dancer at the Betty Chappelle theatre school in Penistone, then I went to the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds and trained in classical ballet and contemporary dance.
“Matthew Bourne was looking for contemporary dancers to be in Children of Eden and because I’d been to a theatre school before I could also act and sing.
“It was an incredible first job to get and that’s how it started. That introduced me to a whole new career.”
Steve said that his career “just kind of happened” and he has enjoyed the shows he has appeared in.
In his early career as a dancer he did lots of commercial dance and modelling, was a backing dancer to pop stars and appeared at the Royal Variety Performance.
Now living with his family in St Albans, where he also runs theatre school Excel Performing Arts, Steve said he is looking forward to spending some time with his mum Christine and the rest of the family in Penistone while the show is at the Lyceum.
He said that the show is spectacular. “I was taken aback when I saw the technical rehearsals. The set is fantastic, they’ve done a really good job of it.
“It’s an original design and really clever and looks like the film. They’ve spent a lot of money on it.
“Anyone who comes is in for a real treat. It’s a good one.”
The Sound of Music is at the Lyceum now, with BBC Over The Rainbow winner as Maria and Steven Houghton (London’s Burning) as Ca and runs until Saturday, February 14. Box office: at the Crucible, online at www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk or call 0114 249 6000.