Annie Warbucks

Date 27th February 2019
Society Wickersley Musical Theatre Company
Venue Rotherham Civic Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Dee Bennie-Marshall
Musical Director James Greatorex
Choreographer Dee Bennie- Marshall

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Author: Ashley Booker

It takes a Company with guts to take on a relatively unknown sequel to one of the worlds most beloved musicals. Wickersley Musical Theatre Company proved just how much guts they’ve got with their latest offering, Annie Warbucks. 

The story starts where Annie finished. Oliver Warbucks is to find a wife and suitable mother to Annie within 60 days or Annie goes back to the orphanage. 

On the night I attended the title role was played by Scarlett Lewis. Scarlet was phenomenal in this role. She managed to keep her American accent up throughout and sang her danced her way through this show with ease. I must also mention Lexi Westley who shares the role of Annie with Scarlett. I have it on great authority that Lexi is equally as phenomenal. 

The orphans, again split in to two teams, had obviously been well trained as none of them put a foot wrong. I must mention however, Connie Shaw, who was adorable as Molly.

Oliver ‘Daddy’ Warbucks was played the very talented and stage veteran, Donald McInnes. Donald was every inch the Warbucks we all know and love and his song ‘A Younger Man’ was a highlight of the evening. Warbucks’s secretary, Grace Farrell, was played superbly by Tasha Barrett. Tasha, portrayed the secretary with great style and proved what a great voice she has. 

Carol Andrews and Jess Fenwick played the villain’s of the piece. Carol simply excelled as Commissioner Doyle, who’s plan was to have Warbucks marry her daughter for his money and then kill him. It was so nice to Jess Fenwick in a different type of role to ones  she usually plays. Jess is a triple threat and with this show proved what a versatile performer she is. 

Now, just as in the original, Oliver Warbucks has servants who take care of the house. The head of the household is the Butler, Drake. Darren Mann- Saunders was captivating in this role. With powerful vocals and great comic timing, this is one performance I won’t forget in a hurry. The entire audience loved him. 

The major principals were well supported Dot Stothard (Mrs Pugh), Pete Mayson (Alvin Patterson), Jonny White ( Senator Vandenberg) and Rebecca Critchley, who’s song, ‘Love’ was my favourite. 

The show was excellently directed and choreographed by theatrical genius Dee Bennie- Marshall. If you haven’t seen a Dee Bennie- Marshall production yet, then you are missing out. 

The band was just the right level and was under the expert control of  the multi talented Musical Director, James Greatorex. 

If I had one criticism of this show, it was that at  times, the sound was poor. This is not the fault however of the performers. 

With a first class set, wonderful costumes, excellent principals and a wonderful ensemble, this show certainly hit the mark. However with the reputation  this company has, ‘I Always Knew’ it would be.