Musical 'nuns' go camping with Julie and Von Trapps

IN THE immortal words of Julie Andrews, let's start at the very beginning.

If you know your Rodgers and Hammerstein from your Sondheim, you may be humming already. Tapping your feet, dreaming of Austrian mountains, half a dozen children dancing round you. Hills alive with The Sound of Music, and all that.

This might be your idea of hell, of course. But for visitors to the 13th Lesbian and Gay Film Festival at the National Film Theatre next month, a special screening of the legendary musical will be an event to treasure.

Indeed, "Singalong-a-Sound-of-Music" is festival organiser Robin Baker's idea of a jolly good day out. "The idea is a vaguely stolen one," he admitted. "I heard of a cinema in Glasgow doing a screening of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers for old people, and thought, 'what a charming idea'.

"You go to the cinema or to watch a musical where you know all the words, and the thing you want to do is sing along. I thought how pleasurable it would be for audiences to break the ultimate taboo."

The NFT audience tends to be younger, so he tried to think of something "marginally less charming" than Seven Brides. "We sat down and tried to decide what musical everybody knew inside out, every line of dialogue, and the winner was The Sound of Music."

Julie Andrews' status as a gay icon was a factor, he said. "And there's something inherently camp about nuns." The NFT will be welcoming as many Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence - the group of gay men who dress as nuns - as care to squeeze into the 450-seater cinema.

There will be special rehearsals just before the Sunday afternoon screening on 18 April, and prizes for the best appropriate costumes. The film will have the lyrics along the bottom of the picture for anyone who does not know the words. The NFT does not have the technology to provide a "bouncing dot", but organisers seem confident the audience will be able to keep up.

Indeed, if the participants prove half-competent, Mr Baker hopes to split them into sections representing each of the Von Trapp children.

If they are very good, a decision will be made during the interval, halfway through, whether to perform in parts the sophisticated number So Long, Farewell.

In keeping with the film's storyline, in which Julie Andrews' character Maria makes play-clothes for the regimented Von Trapp children, top prizes in the dressing-up competition will go to those who make the best use of curtains.

Although most of the films screened during the fortnight will fall into the realm of serious drama, The Sound of Music will feature more than once.

David Benedict, theatre critic of The Independent, will present a follow- up to last year's sell-out festival lecture, "Camp Cooks and Queer Cuisine", by showing how "Hollywood musicals have taught us everything we need to know about love, lust and luscious living". The lecture's title? "Oklahomo!"

GAY ICONS

Kylie Minogue

Barbra Streisand

Diana, Princess of Wales

Judy Garland

Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley in 'Absolutely Fabulous')

Edwina Currie

Elizabeth Taylor

Shirley Bassey

Madonna

Martine McCutcheon

Barbara Windsor

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future