Tamworth Theatre Talk: Popular Annie returns

Ready for the performance: Tara Withers as Annie, Bowie as The Wonder Dog and Alicia Turner, who also plays Annie.
Ready for the performance: Tara Withers as Annie, Bowie as The Wonder Dog and Alicia Turner, who also plays Annie.

The popular comic strip heroine Annie takes centre stage in one of the world’s best-loved musicals.

Annie, the musical that the whole family will enjoy, opens at Capitol Theatre Tamworth on October 27 for a three-week season finishing up on November 11. 

Having directed for many other school productions, Natalie Creighton has excelled in her first role as director with TMS, taking pride of place in the line of skilled directors who have brought this classic musical to life.

Creighton said: “This is the third time that the Tamworth Musical Society has produced Annie. The first production was directed by Bill Gleeson in 1986, the second by Stephen Carter in 2001 and in 2017 it is my turn to take up the challenge.”

Annie is based on the popular comic strip and tells the extraordinary story of a little orphan who ends up in the lap of luxury with depression-era billionaire, Oliver Warbucks.

Unlike most of the other children at the orphanage, Annie believes that her parents are still alive and will one day return to claim her. So when Mr Warbucks offers to adopt her, she asks the most powerful man in America to help find her real mother and father instead. Warbucks puts up a whopping $50,000 reward for Annie's parents, attracting the attention of con artists Rooster, Lily and the wicked Miss Hannigan, who hatch a plot to kidnap Annie and take the money for themselves.

The orchestra of 24 musicians is lead by Val Godden as musical director while Cherie Gaites, as choreographer, has taken the mix of experienced and fledgling cast members to great heights with the assistance of assistant choreographer Annabelle Stier. Assistant director Aaron Jones has worked his magic, assisting Creighton with the cast, while also playing the role of Rooster Hannigan, the con artist brother of Miss Hannigan.

Get set to see some of your favourite local stars in this line-up with Peter Ross as Oliver (Daddy) Warbucks, Natacha Curnow as Miss Hannigan and Ben Mettam as President Roosevelt. The show is in it’s final week of rehearsals and then dress rehearsals before opening night on Friday, October 27. 

Special mention must go to the two dedicated young actors, Alicia Turner and Tara Withers, who both play the very demanding role of Annie in the show. Both head two groups of very cute and very talented “little orphans”.

There will also be a bit of “déjà vu” happening for Deirdre Bourke who plays the role of Grace Farrell, who 16 years ago played the role of Annie in the 2001 production by TMS.

To book your seats visit entertainmentvenues.com.au, call 6766 2028, or visit the box office at Capitol Theatre and The Big Golden Guitar.