Annie Jr

Date 16th July 2022
Society Wadhurst Dramatic Club
Venue Wadhurst Commemoration Hall
Type of Production Musical
Director Amanda Dann
Choreographer Holy Sturman
Written By Meehan/Strause/Charmin


Author: Anne Lawson

Amanda runs both young sections of the club and what a perfect musical for them to present with the older members taking on adult roles and the youngsters a wonderful bunch of orphans. With the choreography input from Holly Sturman and voice coaching of Clarice Wale the youngsters produced a disciplined and well-rehearsed performance with such confidence. A credit to you all.

The well-known storyline set in the 1930s, young Annie is placed in a miserable orphanage run by a most unpleasant Miss Hannigan, simply waiting for her parents to find her. She runs away and befriends Sandy a stray via Bundles in his laundry basket, and is brought back by Officer Ward. She’s then chosen by Grace Farrell, PA to mega wealthy Oliver Warbucks, for Christmas. A plot is hatched when a reward is offered to find Annie’s parents with Hannigan’s brother Rooster and his moll, but with the help of the FBI and President Roosevelt they are rumbled. And so to a  happy ending, Annie is to be adopted and her orphan friends join the Warbuck’s household for a jolly Christmas. Familiar tunes throughout well executed by the cast.

Two teams performed a number of the characters and for this performance Molly was played by Nitalia Volsteedt. Georgia Ajayi became a confident young Annie particularly enjoying her ‘Maybe’ number, accompanied by Eddie Burns as adorable Sandy the dog. Some members played multiple roles and I would like to mention Angus Pamphilon who firstly was the laundry man Bundles, then the radio presenter Bert Healy and then the President himself. All the named orphans delivered their lines well and worked together as a team. ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life For Us’ was certainly well drilled, sung and actions were performed with feeling.

Duke Kirton was an assertive Oliver Warbucks, moved and characterised well and adapted to a softer side too. He was well supported by his efficient PA Grace played at this performance by Lauren Perry elegantly dressed and coiffured too. Sophie Jones certainly created a tough Miss Hannigan with authority and strength in her singing voice too. Bobby Jeal played gangster Rooster well, with Lucie Payne as Lily the three together performed an entertaining number ‘Easy Street.’ 

The orphanage set created with scaffolding representing the children’s bunk-bedding worked very well indeed and the folding flats that the children operated showed us Warbucks'  affluent home, an excellent NY backdrop too - Nance Fyson and Colin Hand creating their usual magic. Cast members brought on bigger props as required promptly and set them well.

Costumes from Kate Adams and Lianne Reynolds were well designed and gave a correct era appearance  – everyone looked simply perfect with good finishing touches, good hair grooming and make up. Lots of props were prepared by Catherine Whitehead, Jan Lynam and Merlin Beedell. Slick stage management with Lisa Hart SM and her assistant Kieran Howlett, not forgetting Dot Smytherman in Prompt corner. Russ Kirton was on the board in charge of sound which included the back tapes for musical accompaniment. Bailey Kenchington was responsible for the effective stage lighting. Again, to everyone involved both front and backstage well done for presenting a most enjoyable ‘Annie’ on a hot summer’s evening.