Monday, June 13, 2011

Annie Jr.
Performers Stage School
Customs House
12 June 2011

After the typical summer weather in the North East of four seasons in one day, it was very apt that the ‘The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow’ would be blaring from the stage of The Customs House.
‘Annie’ performed by The Performers Stage School is the story of an orphanage girl cast aside by her parents in 1930’s New York. Teased by the other children there and ruled by an iron fisted Miss Hannigan; Annie receives some great news when billionaire Mr Warbucks decides to alleviate one of the children and have them stay at his mansion for two weeks over Christmas. Such is the impact of the child on the household; Warbucks decides to press for adoption not before he issues statements putting aside a large amount of money and asking for the birth parents to come forward. Hannigan plots a scheme to defraud Warbucks by inventing a couple to come forward and claiming Annie as their own.
What will happen to the dastardly ways of Hannigan? Will Annie get the love that she deserves?

Director David Ducasse has assembled a brilliant junior cast for this performance of the much loved stage classic; his actors really shone giving superb accounts of themselves. For an opening night in front of a relatively full house the children pulled out all the stops to ensure that the start of the tenth anniversary of the School got off to a wonderful start.
With superb singing and choreography throughout, the audience – no doubt full of very proud parents and friends – responded very well to the end of each piece, this I am sure spurred on the actors even more. ‘Hard- knock life’ and of course ‘Tomorrow’ were the highlights of the vocals but the acting of these talented stars to be took all the plaudits. Molly Waters as the nasty Hannigan, and Joshua Trueman as Warbucks both were solid as their characters explored the highs and lows of ‘love’ but Laura Roberts as Annie totally outshone all on stage, her singing voice and acting will keep me glued to the amateur scene looking out for her.
Production was very good with the sound (Tony Atkinson) and the lighting design (James Henshaw) coming up trumps at every push of their buttons. Musical Director (Stacey Ghent) and Choreographer (Ashley Lamb) added a lot to this play with their craft.
As the rain came crashing down outside, The Performers Stage School made sure that the crowd left with a nice warm glow.

Runs until 13 June

Michael Hunter

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