THE Sound of Music pleased the crowd as easily as do-re-mi when the West End production came to Woking, writes Hannah Masters-Waage.

Naming one of my favourite things from this beautifully choreographed show is difficult, but the performance on Thursday June 24 had all the magic and more for die hard fans.

Maria was depicted delightfully playfully by Kirsty Malpass who filled the role for the first week before 'How do you solve a problem like Maria' winner Connie Fisher took over.

While her opening number, 'The Sound of Music' did not pack the punch I was expecting, Malpass's performance soon took centre stage as she interacted beautifully with the children and the chemistry between her and Captain Von Trapp, played by Michael Praed, came alive, something I feel is missing from the movie version.

The choreography, set by Strictly Come Dancing's Arlene Philips, was inspired, playing intricately with Rogers and Hammerstein's famous words and music.

One of the choreographic highlights was the clockwork-like routine that accompanied 'Do-re-mi'. Together Maria and the children moved like beautiful machinery as they constructed the scale.

What is striking about the stage version for fans of the movie is the political messages that are left out of Hollywood's version.

True to the original script, two songs were included that are not heard on screen, both of which are sung by Captain Von Trapp, his love interest Baroness Schraeder and the cheeky Uncle Max.

One such song is called 'No Way to Stop It' and sees Max and the Baroness trying to convince the Captain to accept the Nazi invasion of Austria, and it is the Captain and Baroness's disagreement on this point which drives them apart, not Maria as the movie suggests.

The Nazi guards were truly menacing and the audience could feel the tension during the music festival when the Von Trapp Family Singers did not return to the stage, as if we were present at that original performance in the Vienna music hall.

But one of my favourite things was the spectacular performances given by the Mother Abbess, played by opera singer Marilyn Hill Smith, particularly during her solo 'Climb Every Mountain'. Her immensely powerful voice filled the theatre and left a tear in one's eye.

The Sound of Music is at New Victoria Theatre, Woking until July 10th before moving on to Birmingham.