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Youngsters stole the show in Annie presented by SALOS at Swindon's Wyvern Theatre
9:17am Friday 26th October 2012 in Reviews
ANNIE is a Broadway musical based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip, Little Orphan Annie, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and a book by Thomas Meehan.
SALOS director Russell Langdown is now a stalwart of several productions.
As always his talent for directing is not in doubt. Whether I agreed or not with some of the staging and choreography is only my opinion, but I felt it lacked energy in some of the chorus numbers.
They say never work with children or animals, but that’s impossible in this production. And the youngsters really stole this one.
Diminutive 15-year-old, Beth Fisher, in the title role of Annie, was excellent. When Mack, alias Sandy the dog, started singing with her in Tomorrow, she handled it and him as well as any professional.
The orphans too performed well and with such panache. Oh, and what about little 10-year-old Scarlett Roche, as Molly? I couldn’t take my eyes of her. A star is born, I think.
Miss Hannigan was played by Margaret Price. I was a bit confused and disappointed by the interpretation of the character, as I know how brilliant Margaret is on stage.
I have always seen this as the comedy role to die for; but again that’s only my opinion. Maybe Russell didn’t see her that way.
Courtenay Merchant was superb as Oliver Warbucks, the billionaire who takes in Annie. His rapport with Beth was lovely to watch.
Albertine Davies played the demure Grace Farell. Rooster was played by Martin Whiteley and Lily, Amy Cole.
The orchestra, under the direction of Malcolm Webb, was good and the chorus numbers sung well.
There was a lot to like. However, I don’t know if it was that ‘Thursday night feeling’ all thespians talk about, but I felt a little spark was missing from some of the adults at this performance.
That said, the audience loved it and went out singing. You can’t ask for much more than that.
- Ros Hollands