Annie - The Musical

Date 5th November 2016
Society Bath Light Operatic Group
Venue Bath Theatre Royal
Type of Production Musical
Director David Baxter
Musical Director Matthew Finch
Choreographer Amy Holloway

Report

Author: Dee Way

This proved to be an excellent evening of theatre and a thoroughly enjoyable performance. The music and acting were top class and the whole production looked and sounded well rehearsed, balanced and polished.

Despite the advantages of playing in a professional theatre, there are a lot of challenges to overcome with this show. One is that it is so well known and each production needs to have a fresh take on the story. This was accomplished here by having very good actors in the child roles, supported by experienced adults both onstage and offstage. The staging of the opening, with orphanage beds behind a gauze in scenery suggesting a grand old house was lovely. The later scenes, in Daddy Warbucks’ house and New York, were very atmospheric, and the changes were very smooth.

The costumes for the show were very fitting, with the orphans in rags, Miss Hannigan in underwear, then a floral dress. The costumes in Daddy Warbuck’s home were equally good, with the staff uniforms and Annie’s changes of dress and coats. The choreography for the dance numbers worked very well indeed.  What a lot of planning and discipline was in evidence here.  

The lighting was excellent, with cues acted on and unobtrusive gobo effects enhancing the production throughout. The sound balance was very good, being supportive to the scene setting without drowning out the actors. The small orchestra was equally good, with good clear tunes and lively rhythms to the songs and dance routines. The opening trumpet solo was lovely!

The direction of the show was very well planned, with no hold-ups for scene changes and evidence of great teamwork. I am not sure how much of the production is dictated by the licence holders but this version had some excellent dance routines that fitted into the story line really well. I liked the little touches of reality, too, that were included here, such as the doorman opening doors and servants carrying things and serving, as well as well-acted conversations. As for Sam the dog, well, he is a total show stealer if ever there was one! I gather that it was cheese that he loved so much.

This was a stunningly good show that gives you a very high standard to live up to.