15th July 2016
The Assembly Rooms, Bolsover
Type of Production
Lianne Blunt, Lisa Brunt, Connor Brown, Bethany Thomas, Gabrielle Walker
Author: Joyce Handbury
Set in the 1930’s during the great depression, little orphan Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage that is run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. Her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the home of billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. This show presents an enormous challenge to a youth group as apart from Annie and the orphans all the other characters are adults and it is never easy to portray an adult with conviction but these young people did just that. Sienna Alsop was very impressive in the very demanding role of Annie. She has great stage presence, oodles of confidence, especially when acting, and her companionable handling of Sandy, so obediently played by real live dog Cola, was masterful. Callum Priest coped well with being the somewhat disinterested and dispassionate Oliver Warbucks, eventually totally succumbing to Annie’s lovely, honest nature. His secretary, Grace, was elegantly, authoritatively and charmingly played by Charlotte Blunt and Sophie Clifford was totally convincing as the habitually drunk and officious Miss Hannigan. Light relief appeared in the form of Rooster, Miss Hannigan’s ne’er-do-well brother, and his girlfriend Lily.
Jarad Higgins was excellent as the brash Rooster and it was hard to believe that Grace Randall was only thirteen as she vampishly strutted around the stage. The delivery of ‘Easy Street’ by the two of them along with Miss Hannigan, was splendidly executed. The six orphans (Teigan Vernon, Evie Brent, Maddy Sutton, Bethany Thomas, Lydia North, Charlotte Blunt) were all terrific, they were so enthusiastic and bubbly I just loved them. Splendid support came from all those playing the more minor roles and indeed from the whole chorus. The various places of action were depicted in front of the main background set and transformed by the use of good props. The costumes of all the cast and chorus were utterly superb, congratulations must go to Wendy Blunt for overseeing the wardrobe and for turning out such immaculately dressed youngsters especially those in the chorus - they must have loved being dressed in their fine suits and dresses etc. and credit too, must go to all those who were helping them, back stage. It is lovely to see such a large group of youngsters, especially so many young boys, enjoying taking part in musical theatre. Lets hope their enthusiasm continues and it is thanks to the commitment and dedication of the production team and everyone involved at Bolsover Drama Group that they are able and encouraged to participate and be involved in such productions. Well done!