Annie, Thornton Cleveleys Operatic Society review: Amateurs don't put a paw wrong

Annie Dawson fronts the cast of orphans in Thornton Cleveleys Operatic Society's production of Annie
Annie Dawson fronts the cast of orphans in Thornton Cleveleys Operatic Society's production of Annie

A star is born in the diminutive form of 11-year-old Annie Dawson in the title role of popular musical Annie.

The audience fell in love with Annie and dog Sandy (Dexter) and they didn’t put a paw wrong in a show packed with quirky delights - the hallmarks of director Howard Raw.

Jenny Daniels played a blinder as the gin-soaked and sexually-repressed Miss Hannigan, lurching alarmingly and amusingly from pillar to post with her sadistic tendencies making it difficult to like her - a true villainess.

Oliver Warbucks (Andrew Would) portrayed the powerful billionaire with sensitivity from the outset and his on-stage empathy for Annie was delightful.

Jean Dunkerley as Grace Farrell, Warbuck’s sidekick, is expected to be the epitome of good breeding and elegance and she didn’t disappoint with a solid performance of understated stoicism and efficiency.

The minor roles delivered well, with special mention to a believeable radio host Bert Healy (Daniel Suddaby).

The orphan girls excelled, acting their socks off and remaining in character, as did the adult ensemble with imaginative choreography from Wendy Raw and Elaine Morrison.

A musical wouldn’t succeed without an orchestra and this one pulled out all the stops, recreating the unmistakable style of the early 30s.

Until Saturday.

YVONNE FIELDING