Acting duo to share challenging lead role
PUBLISHED: 16:38 13 January 2012
A NEW version of the popular Broadway musical Annie will be hitting the stage this spring.
The show is the second major production by the Lowestoft-based B&B Theatre Company, which was set up to give young people in Waveney a showcase for their talents in the performing arts.
Having won plaudits for its first show Oliver! last April, the group is returning to Beccles Public Hall to stage its latest production which has been lined up for a six-performance run, starting on March 7.
The show tells the story of Annie, a depression-era orphan determined to find her parents who abandoned her 10 years earlier on the doorstep of the New York City Municipal Orphanage, run by the tyrannical Miss Hannigan. Bad as things seem, the feisty Annie escapes the orphanage and during her adventure, she befriends President Franklin D Roosevelt and finds a new family and home with billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his secretary Grace Farrell and a lovable mutt named Sandy – with plenty of mischief and music along the way.
The production is being directed by Sharmaine Pullman, along with musical director Bob McNeil Watson, with a cast of about 40 young people from across Waveney. Sharing the leading role of Annie are 13-year-olds Scarlett Banner, of Chestnut Avenue, Oulton Broad, and Gabriella Harvey, of Herons Close, Oulton Broad.
They will be on the receiving end of the ferocious Miss Hannigan, played by Stephany Barrett, 18, of Blundeston. The role of Daddy Warbucks is taken by Michael Mills.
Also appearing, as Annie’s four-legged friend Sandy, is the loveable Monkey.
Gabriella, who attends Benjamin Britten High School, said she was looking forward to her starring role.
“To have the chance to play such a feisty character and understand the journey that Annie went on is amazing,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed working with the cast and now cannot wait for the show.”
The B&B Theatre Company was set up in August 2010, by five students who were then at Benjamin Britten High.
Among them was Ryan Holt, 17, from Corton, who is producing the show and also playing Rooster Hannigan. He said: “I’m thrilled to be producing such an upbeat and adventurous musical. 2012 marks the 35th anniversary of Annie opening on Broadway and the show continues to be one of the most popular musicals with people of all ages.
“With its timeless and optimistic message, we’re sure Annie will be a hit with audiences in Beccles.”
Annie runs from Wednesday, March 7 to Saturday, March 10 at Beccles Public Hall. Tickets go on sale from today via the box office on 01502 446385 or online at www.theband btheatre company.co.uk