Annie

Date 30th October 2021
Society Three Towns Theatre Company
Venue Brooke Theatre Chatham
Type of Production Musical
Director Samatha Grace
Musical Director Suzanne Crossley
Choreographer Elizabeth Harrold

Report

Author: Gordon Harris

The sun will come out tomorrow, but at the Brooke Theatre it come out this afternoon with TTTC production of Annie.

Annie is now 45 years old. The original Broadway production opened in 1977 and ran for nearly six yearsI saw the original West End production in 1978 as well as productions in New York, Brazil and Australia and there have been many revivals over the years. Obviously TTTC cannot compete with these but what a brave attempt they made and having coped with Covid over the last 18 months, cancelling the show a couple of times and recasting as well, they rose above it and come out on top. Minimalistic scenery with projection worked well. I thought lighting could have been improved in places. Costumes were good and in period. 

Annie is a tough, streetwise urchin who is surprisingly vulnerable and Gabriella Kennard played this role with sweetness and just the right amount of charm, with power in her voice. Her team B members were Moraiah Bentley, Chole Rose, Adelise Healy, Gracie Dixon, Ryleigh Doughty, Sydney Cura, Willow Penhallow and Harper Cloughley.

I’m sure Team A headed by Ellie-Mai O’Reilly as Annie, and her orphan mates Polly Sanders, Amber Rowe, Nikita Mullins are equally good but as I saw team B I’m sorry I can’t comment. 

Tony Harold turned in a solid performance as Daddy Warbucks, Debra Harold as Miss Hannigan was suitably cast as the drunken orphanage manager. The comedy pairing of Geoff Cote as Rooster and Amber Cloughley kept the comedy coming. Gwyneth T. Loft as secretary to Warbucks, Grace Farrel, has stage presence and gave us a convincing performance.  Nice portrayal of President Roosevelt by Jack Marshall.

TTTC Were brave to attempt to produce Annie with only five men. This meant missing the Radio scene and the 3 remaining men playing multiple parts. So a special mention must go out to John Bishop and Andy Hollidge for carrying ten parts between them, and getting the right costume on for the right part, brilliant!! Other supporting roles and chorus made this Annie slowly roll along. 

Samantha Grace an accomplished Director, and Musical Director Suzanne Crossley and her nine-piece band, were the perfect volume for the theatre and, along with choreographer Elizabeth Harrold, gave this Annie a feel-good feeling under the circumstances of the past 18 months. 

 All in all a well-rounded Annie, that gave us a sunny afternoon.Well done to you all.