8th February 2019
Sawston Youth Drama
The Marven Centres, Sawston, Cambridge.
Type of Production
Author: Decia Ranger
Set in the 1930’s in the depth of the depression, the story of Annie, the little girl plucked from an orphanage to spend Christmas in the home of billionaire Oliver Warbanks and ending up being adopted by him, is surely one of the best loved of all musicals. Full of catchy songs it remains a favourite of amateurs and professionals alike and it’s easy to see why.
SYD produces shows of a very high standard and I always look forward to reviewing their latest offering.
The title role in this production was very well played by Amelia Perry. Good expressive characterisation and a lovely singing voice. She was well supported by her fellow orphans, Molly (Alice Sausman) Pepper (Josie Rainsford) Duffy (Lucy Fallon), July (Kjella Pettersson) Tessie (Issy Morgan) and Kate (Abi Ayling). Each with their own personality and all making a big contribution to the show.
A good mature performance from Sully Bishop as Warbucks and Phoebe Poulter-Kerry was excellent as his P.A. Grace.
What a terrific performance by Bonnie Robinson as the inebriated, child hating Ms Hannigan. She really lived the part and her expressive rendition of “Little Girls” was for me one of the highlights of the show. Very well done to her.
Jonah O’Sullivan is to my mind an emerging musical theatre talent. He tackled the role of conman Rooster with great conviction, displaying good acting, singing and dancing. The cunning and plotting threesome of Rooster, his girlfriend and partner in crime Lily (Hannah Gillott) and Ms Hannigan gave a great polished performance of “Easy Street”. Congratulations to Karen Revill on her terrific choreography, not only in this number, but throughout the show.
The Bert Healy radio show was very well done and really captured the essence of the period. A lovely harmonious rendition of “You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile” and Rob Carter made a great Healy.
There were other good performances from Angus Mayo as Roosevelt and Lucas Burr as Drake. Callum Hutchcraft was Mr Bundles the laundryman and Ozzy was very obedient as Annie’s dog Sandy.
The acting ages in Annie vary enormously but this proved to be no problem for these young performers who were more than capable of acting up in age as required of the script.
There was not really a weak link in this production. Guided by their strong creative team, everyone from the chorus and swings to the principals really shone.
Scenery was fairly simple but it worked. Ms Hannigan’s office was well placed on the apron, stage right. Costumes were good as was lighting and sound.
The orchestra under the direction of Paul Garner gave excellent accompaniment as usual.
Thank you SYD for a very enjoyable evening’s entertainment.