Children stole the show at the first performance of Annie at the Wyvern Theatre last night.

A cast of nine actresses from Swindon gave the professionals a run for their money as they entertained the crowd with renditions of It’s the Hard Knock Life and You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile.

Charleigh Webb, Olivia Wicks, Saskia Kevern, Mollie De Boer, Eleanor Evans, Bella Bees, Ciara Mulry, Chloe Hill, and Kaitlin Hill, lit up the stage as they sang, danced and acted their socks off in the orphanage.

The troupe of girls, who go to Tanwood School for Performing Arts, hid their Swindon roots as they put on convincing New York accents to transport the audience into the heart of Manhattan.

This is the first time the theatre has hosted the musical, which has been a popular favourite since it appeared in the 1970s, and features Hi-de-Hi! star Su Pollard and David McAlister.

The rags-to-riches story follows a little girl in a New York orphanage run by the drunk Miss Hannigan (Su Pollard) who goes to stay in the luxurious home of a billionaire for Christmas (David McAlister).

A series of painted sets, elaborate costumes and talented actors accompanied the Swindon dancers to make the performance one for the town to be proud of.

Little Annie had the audience in the palm of her hand as she belted out Tomorrow while Su Pollard had everyone laughing as she stumbled around the orphanage, and David McAlister made a charming Oliver Warbucks.

Talented pooch, Sandy, played by Danny, was another star on the stage too.

The cast of more than 40 talented actors had many audience members standing by the end, and you can bet your bottom dollar that it will be the same for the rest of the week.

Annie is being performed at the Wyvern Theatre until Saturday, October 9.

Tickets, priced from £22-£28, are available from the Wyvern’s booking office on 01793 524481.