June 26, 2011
Certain films command a sort of feverish devotion that, to the outsider, can seem pretty bizarre. Think cross-dressing midnight screenings of Rocky Horror Picture Show, or my personal favourite – screenings of Tommy Wiseau's The Room during which fans throw plastic cutlery at the screen whilst shouting along with the most overwrought lines (Youh teah-ring me apahrt Lee-sah!)
But none quite match the almost religious fervour that The Sound of Music inspires. Nearly 50 years after its initial release, it still causes otherwise sane members of the viewing public to don lederhosen and sing along to favourites from the beloved musical.
But corporate events aren't usually a place for rabid fandom - so at first glance, the combination of a Sound of Music tribute act and a pharmaceutical conference might seem an odd mix. But one of the benefits of 45 years of repeated viewings and boxing day TV screenings is that songs from The Sound of Music have burrowed deep into the subconscious of anyone who's ever owned a television or radio. Even if you haven't seen the film, chances are you know My Favourite Things and when you're handed a green hat and faced with four belederhosened singers – you're almost conditioned to sing along.
So, confident in the audience's willingness to join in with the festivities, we supplied four fully costumed singers (some of whom had performed as part of the Glee Flashmob a few months ago) to perform a choreographed stage show at the Hilton Brighton Metropole including Do Re Me, Climb Every Mountain, 16 going on 17, My Favouite Things and So Long, Farewell to the delight of the assembled crowd. The all singing, all dancing show even exploded off the stage and into the audience at certain points and involved countless bursts of spirited audience participation.
It might not be suitable for every corporate function, especially if guests don't know each other, but this West End tribute show was a great way to energise an event and get people involved with the entertainment.