Date 15th March 2017
Society Blyth Music and Theatre Company Ltd
Venue Phoenix Theatre Blyth
Type of Production Musical
Director Jackie Grey
Musical Director Tim Jasper


Author: R J Lowry

Annie combines elements of both adult and youth theatre so it often stretches the resources of companies that stage the production. Blyth Music and Theatre Company rose to the occasion with a winning combination: adults and youngsters worked skilfully together delivering an entertaining and appealing show for the packed houses in this big theatre. I was privileged to see both youth-theatre teams in action on alternate nights and they were each striking and skilful in their individual ways – it’s a pity all audiences couldn’t see this as it is a tremendous feat of logistics, talent and hard work. Along with the dog, the two Annies were the obvious stars: Eve Turner and Arwen Jenkins. But the adults were equally outstanding. Melanie Purdy played a powerful and amusing Miss Hannigan and Michael Douglas’ Oliver Warbucks was a top characterisation. All the other main parts were played with enthusiasm and flair (especially Andrew Herron (Rooster Hannigan) and Marie Swan (Lily St. Regis). But the children were the obvious star chorus giving us organised chaos with style (though it was inevitable that some voices were hard to catch in the melee). The adult chorus were enthusiastic, lively and attentive. The accompaniment (musical director Tim Jasper) was just right (an achievement for an off-stage, out of sight arrangement) and the fixed set served the show well. This company seems to have hit a winning streak and director Jackie Grey and the company deserve the success they have worked so hard for.