Sarah Milner is in the happy position of playing a part she is completely, 100 per cent passionate about – Maria in The Sound of Music.
Worthing Musical Theatre Company are presenting the show at Worthing’s Pavilion Theatre from Wednesday, October 3-Saturday, October 6 – the celebrated true story of the Von Trapp family and Maria their governess newly arrived from her life as a postulant in the abbey.
“I have always absolutely adored the show,” says Sarah, who lives in Worthing. “About five or six years ago, I understudied the part of Maria for the Brighton Theatre Group. I learnt the whole part and I never got to go on. The girl that was playing it was solid and I never got the chance.
“But I found out three days after we finished the show in Brighton that there were auditions for it in Crawley. I went there and got the part and it was just one of the best things I have ever done, and from the moment the show finished, I was just desperate to do it again… and then I heard that we were doing it in Worthing.
“I had mixed feelings really because I didn’t want to audition and not get the part and then have all the awful disappointment, but I really, really wanted to do it. When I auditioned, I was just so nervous!
“And when the director told me that I had got the part, I cried on the phone!
“It is the most fantastic part ever. I just adore being Maria. It’s the only part I have ever done where I feel I am not thinking about anything else at all apart from being Maria. I think it is the fact that she has so much to do with the children that makes it really wonderful. I end up working with the children most of the time. Having that connection with the children is so important, and I get to be a big kid!”
It’s a demanding role, though: “The biggest five songs she does are all in the first 45 minutes of the show. It is hard work. I have to make sure that I am well rested. It is really tough, a very demanding part, but the challenge is just so rewarding.
“It is also the fact that she is such a nice person. I think we have got quite a few similarities between us. I am always late for everything, and she is always late.
“She is always getting told off for singing too much and talking too much, and so am I. She loves running around with the children, and so I do. It is just the best possible role. I just feel so much passion for the part!”
Sarah joined Worthing Musical Theatre Company in about 2010: “I have done quite a few shows with them. I did Oliver! and I did Made in Dagenham before that. They are really great fun to be part of.
“They really like to help each other out, but they also really focus on putting on the best possible show. It is all very motivational.
“If I had realised how much I loved doing musical theatre at a sensible age, then I think I would have loved to do it professionally, but I play the violin for my job. I play for weddings and I go into care homes.
“It is my own business, and it is wonderful to do. I am really happy with it.”