Tamworth musical society brings Annie to life

It's double the casting and double the fun. Photo: Supplied

It's double the casting and double the fun. Photo: Supplied

IT IS one of the most popular musicals of all time and the Tamworth Musical Society have made it their own in a spectacular showcase to premier on Friday night.

Over two weeks, the society will present Annie – the feel-good musical about the little orphan determined to find her parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York city orphanage run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan

The story follows the little girl’s adventures and hilarious antics along the way to finding a new family and home with billionaire Oliver Warbucks, played by Peter Ross, his personal secretary Grace Farrell and a lovable mutt named Sandy.

In another unique twist, the show is divided into two casts with two Annies and two sets of orphans, who will alternate between the shows.

CLASS ACT: Peter Ross as Oliver Warbucks, Tara Withers as Annie and Deirdre Burke as Grace Farrell will take the stage in the Tamworth Musical Society production. Photo: Supplied

CLASS ACT: Peter Ross as Oliver Warbucks, Tara Withers as Annie and Deirdre Burke as Grace Farrell will take the stage in the Tamworth Musical Society production. Photo: Supplied

Director Natalie Creighton said the decision was made due to the age of the children and the number of shows at the Tamworth Capitol Theatre.

She’s urged members of the community to come along and check out the family friendly show.

“We planned it last year and we thought after doing Rock of Ages that it might be nice to have another show that was a bit more traditional in some ways but also for a much broader audience range,” she said.

“It was a conscious decision.

“It was a little different in terms of having two casts and making sure everyone got enough rehearsal time.

“I’ve double cast the Annies because there is so much time on stage and it’s just too big of an ask for a child, particularly with an untrained voice.

“The same thing with the orphans, with the exception of the two eldest – they are double cast because they are all eight, nine or 10 year olds.

“A couple of days we do two shows a day and it can be too much.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: There are two Annies and two casts of orphans. Photo: Supplied

DOUBLE TROUBLE: There are two Annies and two casts of orphans. Photo: Supplied

She said the double casting made for a different experience between the shows, with each cast creating their own spin on their characters.

“They (the cast) are both so different, although they’re playing the same characters, they play them differently. You could almost see it twice, it’s the same story but it seems different,” she said.

Ms Creighton said Annie was a musical that appealed to everyone.

She said its positive message would leave the audience feeling warm and fuzzy at the end.

“The message in the story is about optimism and being hopeful no matter what,” she said.

“It’s very appealing, while I know it’s set in the 1930s, the message in the story still holds true today.

YOUNG CAST: The cast of orphans are from a range of ages starting at eight years old. Photo: Supplied

YOUNG CAST: The cast of orphans are from a range of ages starting at eight years old. Photo: Supplied

“It’s also just the fact that you can watch the show and walk out feeling good.”

“I’ve stayed a true as possible to the script.”

This is the first musical Ms Creighton’s directed under the Tamworth Music Society banner and she said was pleased to have so many experienced people around her to help in the process, including Val Godden the music director.

The musical will open on Friday, October 27 at 7.30pm.

There will also be two day time shows on Saturday and Sunday from 2pm.

For more information on the cast members or to book your tickets visit the Tamworth Capitol Theatre website.