Date 26th April 2012
Society Pleasure Folk AMS
Venue Ormskirk Civic Hall, Ormskirk
Type of Production Musical
Director Gemma Briscoe
Musical Director Nancy Wells


Author: Wendy Newton

Choreographer: Gemma Briscoe

No need to give a synopsis on any report for this show, as by now most avid theatre goers know “Annie “ inside out and back to front. But every society has their own interpretation of the staging and production to try and create their own stamp on it. Gemma Briscoe (Director/Choreographer) certainly presented this production with a cast that showed their experience and expertise to the best of their ability, which with some lovely interpretations managing to make various interesting differences throughout, to produce a really slick show. The dance routines were really creative, well executed and full of some really effective choreography, particularly for the children. Nancy Wells (Musical Director) commanded her band that created a great sound and feel for this show; just the right size and didn’t over power the cast, but provided some really nice accompaniment.  Robyn Braddock (Annie on the night I attended) was the absolute highlight of the show. This was a gem of a part for her, every line executed and projected with exactly the correct intonation in fine voice with perfect diction there no problem hearing her in any of her numbers. Her facial expression was superb and managed to hold her concentration throughout, not tiring at all in what can be an extremely demanding role for a little girl; even having the ability to control “Sandy” off the Lead, very brave indeed! This young lady, I feel given the correct training and support, has a very promising future in Theatre. John Hardwicke (Oliver Warbucks) just right for his part, and showed his obvious experience though his characterisation which was strong, sympathetic and comedic in places; he seemed really comfortable in his role.  Liz Wainwright (Grace Farrell) gave an excellent portrayal of Mr Warbucks P.A., again obvious in her theatrical experience as she showed great acting, dancing and singing ability, whilst making her role extremely believable. Anita Hutson (Miss Hannigan) portrayed the usual drunk ”been around the block” type character and managed to get the best out of her part with good timing, diction and relation to the girls. Steve Rutter( Rooster Hannigan) and Michelle Craven (Lily St Regis) were equal in their ability to get the absolute best out of their roles. Rooster being the “Bronx-wide boy/Gangster” and Lily being the typical Gangster’s-Moll” managed to hold their accents and character . I did feel that for all three characters that “ Easy Street” maybe wasn’t as “easy” for their vocal suitability. It can be a bit tricky and sometimes out of range, there were a few dodgy notes trying to decide between “chest register and head register” but overall the visual overcame that problem and the dance routine and comedy carried it off really well. All of the supporting roles were excellently played and were well suited to all the individuals. The chorus were in fine voice and acted really well creating their own little characters. Now for the Children - you thought I’d forgotten them! how could I? They were all fabulous, sang well, danced well and played perfect orphans. Each one an individual, but held up the concentration and strength throughout. Well Done to them all! The set was well designed and didn’t impede the movement of the cast and also the scene changes and movement of props was well organised, also good use of lighting and sound. Costumes were very good indeed and well cared for! clean, pristine and not a crease in sight with suitable matching footwear; generally excellent attention to detail. (one of my pet hates is unkempt costumes and unsuitable footwear!) so well done Wardrobe! Congratulations and Well done to all of the company, committee , production team, cast ,crew and front of house for producing a jolly good show . Thanking you for your Hospitality and look forward to seeing you again. Wendy Newton District 6 Noda Representative.