1st – 8th October 2016
Photographs from the show by Alan Martin – see more by clicking here…
NODA – Patricia Connor, Region 6 Representative
Champion News – Ron Ellis
BASED on Howard Grey’s comic strip, Little Orphan Annie and set in New York in the days of the Great Depression, Annie is one of the world’s most performed and long-lasting musicals and it is easy to see why.
In Tomorrow it has a memorable song. There are lots of young children in the cast, not to mention a dog, and several tear-jerking sentimental moments such as a forlorn Annie sitting on the sidewalk with Sandy (played by Pine, a fetching Jack Russell and Shih Tzu cross) singing Tomorrow and Annie’s delight when Mr, Warbucks wants to adopt her on Christmas Day, a scene which always brings the Kleenex out.
The evening opens with the overture and a series of film clips setting the scene of New York in the Great Depression, which immediately gives a professional feel to the show.
Faye Coleborn makes an excellent Annie with her wistful smile and clarion clear singing voice. Annie is one of the poor children in the orphanage, run with a rod of iron by Miss Harrigan who hates children.
Strangely, the role of Miss Hannigan is played by a man, Mark Thomas, who came on wearing suspenders and a negligee that looked like it had come straight out of Nice’n’Naughty, and his constant shrieking and outlandish camp gesticulations suggested he could have a bright future in burlesque.
A newly bald Ian Lawson looks the part of Oliver Warbucks, the kind billionaire businessman who wants to adopt Annie, and Lucie Clarke shines as his attractive secretary, Grace Farrell.
Dom Tolley is the smooth talking con-man, Rooster Hannigan, transforming himself into a cringing Mr. Mutch when he tries to claim Annie as his child. Lauren Miller plays his wife, looking the perfect, brassy-blonde gangster’s moll. A wheelchair-bound Jamie Lester ages 40 years as the U.S. President, Franklin Roosevelt.
Once again, the BOS pulls out all the stops to make this a majestic, large scale production with superb sets, a myriad of colourful costumes and an impressive sound and lighting system provided by Dave Murray of Infinity.
MD George Moss leads a 14-piece orchestra of professional standard, albeit occasionally drowning out the dialogue, and the results of Steve Chester’s skilled choreography provide excellent dance sequences, especially in the knockabout dormitory scene with the orphans singing and gyrating to It’s the hard knock life with an enthusiasm and a confidence that belied their years.
With a cast of 39 to direct, Liz Clarke does a magnificent job making this notable production of Annie another great success for the society.
Star Rating: 8 out of 10. A heart warming show