Annie

Stage Experience

New Alexandra Theatre

****

BRUM's got talent! And a splendid cast of over 100 youngsters are proving it big time in this heart-warming musical set in New York during the great depression.

Drawn from right across the West Midlands, they won the right to perform during a series of auditions, guided by a professional production team, and the end product is remarkable.

On opening night Georgia Millie Price played red-haired Annie, the cheerful orphan who charms President Roosevelt with her optimism, and she was outstanding. Full of confidence, her acting was first class and she sang beautifully, especially with 'Tomorrow'.

On the tenth anniversary of the Alex's Stage Experience project, which enables local young people to train and perform in a professional theatre, there isn't a weak link in the show, directed and choreographed with her usual skill by Pollyann Tanner.

Katie Gladwin excels as the bullying orphanage boss Miss Hannigan, and there are sparkling performances from Richard Batham, as billionaire Oliver Warbucks, and Rosie Coles, his secretary, Grace Farrell.

Other fine contributions come from Ameil Hart, Miss Hannigan's conman brother Rooster, and Emma Robotham-Hunt (Lily St Regis), while orphans - did you ever see so many on stage - are a joy. Most experienced member of the cast is Sandy, Annie's stray dog, played impeccably by Danny who holds the Guinness World Record for the most performances by a dog in a theatrical show. O 24-08-13.

Paul Marston

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