Fifty years after Julia Andrews cavorted on Alpine grassland in the movie of The Sound of Music a new stage production of the evergreen musical comes out on tour.
Danielle Hope, winner of BBC’s Over The Rainbow, is the latest to take on the role of Maria, the young governess who wins the heart of widower and father of six Captain von Trapp played by Sheffield-born Steven Houghton.
To the tune of such Rodgers and Hammerstein classics as Edelweiss, My Favourite Things, Do-Re-Mi, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, and the title song, The Sound of Music, the story of the singing von Trapp family to the tune of such Rodgers and Hammerstein classicals such as Edelweiss, My Favourite Things, Do-Re-Mi, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, and the title song, The Sound of Music, the story is played out of the singing von Trapp family from their romantic beginnings and search for happiness, to their flight to freedom at the start of the Second World War.
Steve Houghton has a string of musical credits including an Olivier nomination for Spend Spend Spend and most recently the revival of White Christmas. But Captain von Trapp is different. “It’s a nice part for me because it’s not the kind I usually play, so it’s a new challenge and that’s always good to do,” he says. “It’s largely a dialogue-based character. I do get to sing Eidelweiss but the singing is mostly down to Maria and Danielle does it beautifully.
“Danielle is very down to earth but is very assured although she is quite young – aged 22,” he says. “I think it’s very important we are the right age. I am someone who is old enough to have six children and it has to be believable that a young girl should fall in love with him.”
And he has been impressed by the show’s look. “I was taken aback when I first saw the set,” he reports. “It is quite lavish and I make my entrance down a huge staircase. It starts inside the house and there’s glass windows and you can see the mountains behind. It then transforms into the abbey.
Since last appearaing in his home city in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, the former London’s Burning star had a stint on Coronation Street.
“It was great being in something I had grown up watching and it was just amazing to find yourself walking on to the cobbles or just going into the green room at the old Granada Studios before they moved to Salford,” he enthuses.
“I played Jeff Cullen who was the agent for Sally Webster’s daughter Rosie who was a model. In the process I got off with Sally which eventually Rosie was uncomfortable with. It led to an online spin-off, Just Rosie.
“In the end Sally and Jeff split up and I was written out but I wouldn’t mind going back one day.”
These days he lives with his wife and children aged 19 and 15, in St Albans where they have set up a performance academy. While working on Corrie he was able to commute from his parents’ home in Penistone – which he will also being doing when Sound of Music is here (and Leeds later on the tour for that matter).