‘Annie’, the Broadway musical based upon the popular Harold Gray comic strip ‘Little Orphan Annie’ with music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charmin, was the whole school production chosen by saltash.net community school for 2015. Set in 1930s New York during the Great Depression, brave young Annie, played with remarkable skill and talent by Molly Willis from Year 8, is forced to live a life of misery at the orphanage of Miss Hannigan, characterised extremely well by Year 10 student, Molly Banks, in saltash.net’s production.
Determined to find her real parents, Annie’s luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, performed by Year 13 A Level Theatre Studies student, JJ Harding, to great acclaim from the audiences who watched the show each night during the week of 8th – 11th December.
Supporting the central characters was a very strong cast of over sixty students from across years 7-13, who all sang, danced and acted with an ability that belied their years. Bronwen Hall’s mature portrayal of Warbuck’s PA, Grace, was very well judged, as were the highly comic performances of Tommy Williams and Tiegan Aire as Rooster and Lily, the sinister side-kicks of Miss Hannigan.
Adding impressive depth to many of the choral numbers were Emily Lambert, Megan Kelly, Brad Sweet, Eva Kleckham-Ager, Jasmine Leslie and Jemima Budd. Praise also needs to go the Year 12 student, Wes Hoey, who gave a fine portrayal of President Franklin D Roosevelt who was confined to a wheelchair after contracting polio.
Of course, being saltash.net, the role of Sandy the dog was of equal importance to the humans’ roles. For the performance given to 270 children from its partner primaries, one of saltash.net’s school dogs, Mollie, played Sandy, but for the four evening performances, Tilly, belonging to the Headteacher’s PA, Jude Hollyman, took the lead role and all present agreed that a ‘star was born’!
‘Annie’ was produced and directed by Head of Performing Arts, Emily Venner, ably assisted by Nicola Silvester (Musical Director and Pianist), Matt Oakes (Technical Director) and Scott Wieprecht (Teacher of Drama).
Commenting on the production, Mrs Bryce, Headteacher, said, ‘This was a perfect choice for a whole school production at this time of the year. Not only was the quality of the music, singing, acting and dancing superb, but the set design, lighting and costumes were all first class too. I would like to congratulate everyone involved and thank them for the huge amount of hard work which went into making it such a great success.’