Interviews with Amy Lehpamer, Stephanie Jones and Jacqueline Dark from The Sound of Music

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Here is Part 2 of 3 of the cast and creatives interviews from The Sound of Music media call. You can also see more The Sound of Music related things as seen on this blog. More to come!

SPOILERS!

For more information and tickets, go to: soundofmusictour.com.au

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AMY LehpamerMaria Rainer 

Amyon playing her dream role
“It’s pretty good (laughs) I jumped out of bed pretty excited this morning, I have to say! It is nerve wracking. You’d think with a couple of openings under our belt we’d feel ready and used to it, but as much as I know what I’m doing now, I’m pretty nervy. It’s a nice kind of nerves, I guess because it means a lot and I think that’s the most amazing thing when you’re doing a job  – you can do it 150 times and then still walk out on stage and it means so much, you know you’re doing the right thing!”

Amyon her first introduction to the film adaptation
“It was probably my older siblings putting it on for me to babysit for three hours (laughs). It became quite a family favourite, just because they knew that I’d be transfixed for a few hours and they wouldn’t have to do anything with me. So, it worked.”

Amyon her favourite things about playing the character
“There are a lot of great things, but the most surprising thing for me was how much I love working with the children and the connection and the spontaneity all that comes with it. Because we have three casts of children and they rotate per performance, every time they come back on stage they haven’t been on stage for a day, a day and a half, and they are so excited!

They’ve had to be at school, do all the boring things, and they’ve just been thinking about their next show. You just kind of steal a bit of their joy and put it somewhere – (then) all of a sudden the show is magical again and I’ve really appreciated that.”

Amyon if she’s taken on the mother role
“Definitely (laughs). Sometimes I have to be a bit of the fun police backstage – not that they are bad behaved, but there’s a few theatre etiquette things I guess and just the way being backstage and they get a bit excitable.”

Amyon if playing Maria has affected her personality
“Absolutely! Although to kind of be fair, I think now it’s bled into my real life! The lines get blurred more and more, but it is a real thing. I kind of realised the other day that I have a walk as Maria that I didn’t even know I did, but it’s just she’s kind of taken over a bit of my personality, which I think is kind of lovely.”

Amyon if she got advice from Lisa McCune (who played Maria in the previous Australian stage production)
“I did speak to Lisa. She actually saw the show in Sydney. I’m such a big fan and an admirer of her. She’s extraordinary and I think one of our best Australian actresses. I did have a bit of a chat to her post show and she joked that I snuck a few extra jokes in than she had done, which kind of made me laugh a little bit because I think she’s a very classy lady and I’m a bit more of a goofball, so I think we have a bit of a difference there. (laughs)”


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STEPHANIE JonesLiesl Von Trapp

Stephanie on her first introduction to the film adaptation
“I was cast in it when it was here 16 years ago with Lisa McCune – I played Brigitta, so when I got cast, Mum said, ‘okay, we have to watch this movie.’ I was just watching it over and over again. I got to perform in Brisbane for quite a few months, and I’d loved it ever since! It’s amazing to come back to it as the oldest child, and it’s come full circle. It was very special, especially in Brisbane – being able to open it in my own hometown there.”

Stephanie on if she’s found any challenges playing the role
“I haven’t found any challenges at all. It’s just been pure joy, to be honest. And it’s really exciting for the kids, too, when they realise that I did it as a child. They look at me grown up doing it again. And they go, ‘so you can do this as a job? So I can do this again?’ And I go, ‘yeah, you sure can!’ (laughs) It’s really exciting for them.”

Stephanie on Amy taking on a mother-type role
“You want them to trust you and know who you are as a person too. That reads on stage, which is really important – we want to have that relationship that you all get to see.”


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JACQUELINE DarkMother Abbess

Jacquion singing Climb Every Mountain
“It’s an absolute honour because, obviously it’s an iconic song and it’s just such a beautiful song to sing. It’s so well written, which I’m very grateful for, because I have to sing it so much! The fact that it’s really well written is really good for my voice. But with singing it that much, it’s just technique – you basically rely on your operatic technique to take you through. It’s also, where it sits in the story is so organic. By the time you’ve got to that point, it makes absolute sense to sing it, so it’s kind of just the journey of the character.

We’ve had a lot of feedback from audiences that say, when they hear that at the end of Act I, they go out wanting to actually achieve things in their own lives. A lot of people have said that. They go we go out to interval thinking, ‘I could do that in my life. I should go do that thing. I should be brave. I should have courage.’ The fact that it still affects people like that after 50 years is fantastic!”

Jacquion being in the production
“It’s wonderful. As soon as you say Sound of Music – everyone knows it, everyone loves it. Everyone has childhood memories of it, and they know the show. And, as soon as you say the character, they’re like, ‘oh, I love her! She’s wonderful.’ It’s so nice to actually do a show that’s actually recognised and loved and I’m a character that everyone loves.”

Jacquion why she thinks the musical is so loved
“Firstly, the music is incredible – the music and the story is so character based. For a musical, the characters are really well defined. There are also issues that everyone can relate to – there’s the Dad who’s lost his wife, and the kids, who (have) someone else come in – that story is so universal and we know people who have been in that situation, that relatable circumstance.

Also that circumstance of being somewhere where you possibly know you shouldn’t be, like Maria is. She probably knows that it’s not quite right and has the courage to break out of that. The characters are funny! The script is funny! The fact that people relate to the characters and relate to the story, and then you put the incredible songs on top of that, to take it to another level, everyone can find something they can relate to in their life in the story.”

Jacquion cast dynamics
“It’s interesting because this cast is beautiful – from day one, everyone bonded and adored each other. It was just so well cast that we all watched everyone else perform and just loved each other and proud of each other. We’ve all got closer and I think we trust each other to be very vulnerable in the way we act things – which is a really beautiful thing in any show. When you have colleagues that you trust, I think that comes across to audiences that everyone’s opening their hearts, throwing everything into it and really making it a part of themselves. The more shows we do, the closer we get – we are a real little family. It’s just so beautiful to work in this company. We are so lucky!”

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