By Thomas Meehan

 Directed by Bob Petersen

 Performed on Wednesday 23rd - Saturday 26th November 2005 at Pentyrch Village Hall

 

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Summary

Annie is a musical based upon the popular Harold Gray comic strip 'Little Orphan Annie'. The music is by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and the book by Thomas Meehan. Famous songs from the musical include "Tomorrow" and "It's A Hard Knock Life". The story deals with an 11-year-old orphan girl named Annie. Annie is miserable living in the Orphanage which is run by cruel Miss Hannigan. She is bullied by this nasty lady and tries to protect the younger orphans. She tries to escape but is eventually chosen to spend two weeks with billionaire Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks. Though cold and aloof at first, Warbucks comes to like the girl and eventually wants to adopt her. But Annie believes her parents are still alive. Warbucks then publicly announces that he will give a cash reward to her real parents. This prompts a plot to kidnap the girl by the cruel orphanage manager Miss Hannigan, Hannigan's brother Rooster, and his girfriend Lily St. Regis. In the end, they are caught out and everything ends happily.

NODA Review of Annie

A musical first for Hilltop with their staging of the ever popular Annie, at the Pentyrch Village Hall in November. No big theatre, big budgets, big sets and all the trimmings but a simple staging and a production rich in warmth and charm. From the opening score the audience was hooked by the bright eyed enthusiasm and characters of the girls at the New York orphanage. A great team and a joy to watch. Singing without brashness but with sweetness and clear diction, Jodie Lunnon won hearts in a confident and talented performance as rags to riches orphan Annie. The dreaded Miss Hannigan, matron of the orphanage, was a wonderful and fearsome performance by Linda Coombes with hard hitting performances by Richard Jones as her criminal brother, Rooster, and Amanda Campbell his raunchy moll, Lily St Regis in their raucous search for Easy Street. Martyn Lench beautifully sang and played with strength and sensitivity the wealthy industrialist, Oliver Warbucks, and one sensed possible romance with his attractive secretary, Grace Farrell, stylishly played by Si‚n Major. Cameo roles were securely played by Phil Davies as Bert Healy, together with the Boylan Sisters, John Kelland as President Roosevelt with a very competent cabinet, and Ian Jones as the British butler, Drake. Despite the stage limitations the show flowed well through its many scenes in an organised and able production by Bob Petersen and was supported by a backing sensitive to the young performances under the musical direction of Ben Davies. The society can be well pleased with their first venture into musical theatre. The audience certainly was.

 Reviewed by Frank Wooles

Cast

Annie                                       Jodie Lunnon

 

Molly                                        Bethany Petersen

 

Pepper                                    Katrina Davies

 

Duffy                                       Megan Thomas

 

July                                         Carla Gambarini

 

Tessie                                     Jenna Claridge

 

Kate                                         Abigail Dawson

 

Orphans                                 Aimee Blair, Lottie Wigg, Jessie Turner, Ella Powell, Manon Griffiths, Ffion Cox, Alice Liney

 

Miss Hannigan                     Linda Coombes

 

Oliver Warbucks                  Martyn Lench

 

Grace Farrell                         Si‚n Major

 

Rooster Hannigan              Richard Jones

 

Lily St Regis                         Amanda Campbell

 

Drake                                      Ian Jones

 

A Star to Be                           Sarah JÍn Gazzard

 

Bundles McCloskey           Mike Sweetman

 

Sandy                                    Truffle

 

President Roosevelt          John Kelland

 

Dog Catchers                      Nathan Brown, Richard Jones

 

Lt Ward                                  Ian Jones

 

Sophie/Mrs Greer                Heather Major

 

Mrs Pugh/Mrs Howe          Hilary Evans

 

Cecille                                   Charlotte Hayward                         

 

Bonny Boylan                    Charlotte Hayward

 

Annette/Connie Boylan   Amy-Rose Topping Morris

 

Ronnie Boylan                   Sarah JÍn Gazzard

 

Bert Healy                           Phil Davies

 

Harold Ickes                       Phil Davies

 

Fred McCracken               Rhys Stapleton

 

Cordell Hull                        Rhys Stapleton

 

S. Effects Lady                  Sue O'Halloran

 

Henrietta Morgenthau     Sue O’Halloran

 

Frances Perkins               Karen Claridge

 

Marine                                 Nathan Brown

 

Justice Brandeis             Mike Sweetman

 

Hooverville-ites, Policemen, Servants, New Yorkers 

 

Elen Clee, Sara Pickard, Lucy Bradshaw, Richard Jones, Amanda Campbell, Ian Jones, Sarah JÍn Gazzard, Mike Sweetman, Heather Major, Hilary Evans, Charlotte Hayward, Amy-Rose Topping Morris, Sarah JÍn Gazzard, Phil Davies, Rhys Stapleton, Sue O’Halloran, Karen Claridge, Nathan Brown, Mike Sweetman, John Kelland.

 

 

Production Team

 

Director/Producer                      Bob Petersen

 

Director’s Assistant                   Mary Hampson

 

Musical Director                         Ben Davies

 

Choreographer                          Jocelyn Elmer

 

Choreographer’s Assistant    Lucy Bradshaw

 

Stage Manager                           Wayne Brewer

 

Assistant Stage Manager        Raynor Phinnemore

 

Properties                                    Raynor Phinnemore

 

Set Design & Construction     Wayne Brewer, Raynor Phinnemore, Josh Cripp, Rhys Stapleton, Sarah Gibbon, Owain Davies, Greg Jenkins

 

Lighting                                        Owain Davies

 

Sound                                           Greg Jenkins

 

Continuity                                    Anne Morris

 

Wardrobe Mistress                    Norma Bousfield, Karen Claridge

 

Business Manager                    Si‚n Davies

 

House Manager                         Steve Williams

 

Bar Manager                              John Major

 

House Staff                                Members and Friends of Hilltop

 

Box Office                                  Heather Major, Brenda Slaughter

 

Child Liaison/Dog Handler   Tracy Richards