Annie

Date 29th March 2012
Society Three Towns Theatre Company
Venue Brooke Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Carole Pemble
Musical Director Diana Whybrow
Choreographer Chloe Pemble

Report

Author: Gordon Harris

Musical Comedy based on Harold Gray’s comic strip Little Orphan Annie. Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and book by Thomas Meehan. Directed by Carol Pemble and choreography by Chloe Pemble

The sun come out this week, not Tomorrow, and it is certainly Shinning at the Brooke Theatre this week.This infectious musical  won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book, two of its songs, “Tomorrow” and “It’s the Hard-Knock-Life” became hits, and I Bet your bottom dollar you will find yourself humming these tunes when you leave the Brooke theatre..

TTTC gave us a memorable production with an accomplished group of “orphans” who steal the applause from the adults and well deserved applause too.

The cast are excellent, I was genuinely impressed with the huge talent of Emilia Brown who played (Annie) with such believability and humour that would match an actress twice her age. Emilia gave a charming and captivating performance. I can’t vouch for her counterpart  Alice Cox but I have all faith she is as excellent…good luck Alice.

Tony Harrold (Daddy Warbucks) does what he can with this very capitalist and  sugary role of a adopted Daddy,he secures the evening with nice guy charm, but it’s the girls who grab our affections. None more than in the opening number, It’s a Hard-Knock Life Emilia leads and holds her own, wether with a dog,or with her  band of 15  raggamuffins she takes them  to high standards, and they all come over with that  aaaahhhhhhhh factor.

Elsewhere, there’s fine support from Samantha Grace as (Grace Farrell) this lady was superb in the role as Warbucks secretary,looking gracefull.(should I say double grace) an excellent singing voice and acting to match,and boy can she walk in heels…great.  Gwyneth T Loft , lurching about a lot,a drunken force as the vile (Miss Hannigan),Richard McBride,as her loathsome brother (Rooster )and Victoria Pemble as his stupid dumb blond, squeeky voiced girlfriend (Lily).

Musical Director Diana Whybrow keep the show at a good pace with a large orchestra but I did find the orchestra a little overpowering, so much so that microphnoes on the performers were up so high they picked up every crackle, disconcerting at times. The minimalistic set I thought was too minimal there wasn’t enough grandger at warbucks,and too posh for the orphanage. Costumns were of period and very 1930s.Lighting design David  Beaumont and execucted by Neil Nethercoat was very mood setting.

Director Carol Pemble, this Annie is Carols debut as a director and I hope it is not going to be the last,Carol you were very brave to start with such a huge musical, with 2 sets of orphans and a large cast. Success !! you should be proud of yourself and your cast,the directing was slick and it flowed along with any blackouts, along with daughter Choreographer Chloe Pemble you work well together, a well balanced show, both on Directing and Choreography and with daughter Victoria in the cast it should be headed as  Pemble Pemble and Pemble Productions..