Bishop Ramsey School’s Production of “Annie”

On Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd of February the school presented a production of the musical Annie. It was decided to have a different cast for each evening, existing of students from Years 11-13 but with more students from Year 13 in Thursday’s production(which I had the pleasure to attend). This was because so many students wanted to be involved and the school was able to show the diversity of talent throughout the school and how good it is for young people of different ages to learn to work well together. Auditions for the character roles began in August last year and regular rehearsals started in September. This shows how the commitment of both staff and students over such a long period can result in such a brilliant show!

Lori ,Ted, Macey & Jessica holding Winnie

The story is set in the 1930s in the USA and the  main character is obviously Annie who was played by Jessica who had been abandoned by her parents when very young and had spent most of her eleven years in an orphanage. The action begins in the bedroom of the orphanage and some of the girls begin to fight. Quickly Annie calms down the situation and tucks all the girls up in bed and wishes them goodnight which shows what a calm, kind girl she is. However, then she decides to go out as she still believes her parents are still looking for her. Later we meet Miss Hannigan played by Lori. Anybody less suitable for the position of manager of a girls’ orphanage she was it. She treated the girls like servants making then sweep and mop the bedroom floor “until it shines” Later she addresses each one by name and they have to respond with “I you Miss Hannagan.” Lori makes an immediate impact on the audience by her excellent portrayal of this character; we all hated her immediately!!.

In the meantime Annie is out walking the dog, Sandie played by Winnie, Miss Carroll’s adorable pet. Annie is feeling sad and feels that nobody cares and she begins to sing to the dog the well-known song from the show “Tomorrow….. This was a wonderful moment early in the show created by Jessica’s presence on stage alone with the dog, her beautiful clear voice and her ability to portray her emotion through the words of the song:” The sun’ll come out tomorrow, bet your solemn dollar tomorrow there’ll be sun.” Noticing Annie on her own in the street, a police officer brings her back to the orphanage where we find Miss Hannigan having a sly drink of alcohol and shouting that she is:” dripping with little girls” and that she hates girls.

Living in a mansion near the orphanage is a wealthy gentleman called Warbucks played by Ted who sends his Private Secretary called Grace Farrell played by Macey to invite an orphan to spend two weeks of the Christmas holidays with him. Macey creates a very pleasant business young woman who is not intimidated by Miss Hannigan’s rude attitude and insists that Annie is just the ideal girl for this invitation and politely ignores her protestations and takes Annie with her. Mr Warbucks has returned from a six week business trip and as soon as he and Annie meet there appears to an immediate connection.  Ted was able to bring out the quietly shy, kind and thoughtful man that lies behind this millionaire. He takes Annie to the  which is a new experience and fun for her. Grace tells Mr Warbucks what they have been doing and the three of them sing a joyful song about ” New York City ” (NYC).Later he privately tells Grace that he  would like to adopt Annie.

Ebony & Jaydon

Out of the blue Miss Hannagan’s brother Rooster played by Jaydon arrives at the orphanage with his latest lady friend Lily played by Ebony for an unexpected  visit. Both actors played their parts with vigour and created a good taste of comedy but somewhat tinged with suspicion which was felt by the audience. The three of them talked. . about their memories of their mother. They then sing loudly about ” Easy Street ” with the audience accompanying them by clapping in time to the music It is gradually becoming clear that Miss Hannigan is becoming increasingly jealous of Annie’s lucky situation.

Later Mr Warbucks and Annie sit down and have a chat. He tells her about his poor background and how he had made up his mind to do well in life. He then gives her the locket her parents wanted her to have before they left her in the orphanage. To this Annie responded;” Maybe they’ll call me baby!” Mr Warbucks promised her that he will do his best to find them as he has influential contacts that would help him. Requests were broadcast on a popular radio station and that he would offer a $50.000 reward. Unfortunately there were hundreds of respondents all of whom were illegal chancers.

Surprisingly enough who should turn up again at the orphanage? Yes, Rooster & Lily to make his sister a proposition. If she would give him all the background information she has about Annie, he and Lily would pose as her parents and give her $25,000 – an offer she couldn’t refuse! Mr Warbucks admits to Annie that he would like to adopt her and she agrees if her parents can’t be found. Both cast members then perform a beautifully emotional rendition of ” I don’t need anything but you.” Many members of the audience found this very touching as the actors put heart and soul into this song.

Unexpectantly Rooster & Lily arrive ,using the name of Mr & Mrs Much, claiming that they are Annie’s real parents. Un fortunately for them, at the same time, Mr Warbucks has received information from the FBI informing him they have tracked down the real identity of Annie’s parents but they died a long time ago which exposes Rooster and Lily’s lies. They are charged with fraud and taken away. Now Mr Warbacks may legally adopt Annie, so we have a happy ending which was celebrated by the whole cast with a joyful rendition of the complete version of the lovely song  ending in” Tomorrow,Tomorrow, I love you tomorrow, You,re always a day away”

All the cast performed most professionally creating believable characters which added a great deal of pleasure to the audience. Those students who deserve special praise for their performances are Jessica, Lori, Macey, Ted, Jaydon & Ebony. Congratulations should  also go to the members of the orchestra, the technical team including the stage hands and all students who gave up their time to make the evening so successful.

Finally many congratulations to The Production Team: Miss L Carroll, Miss Mathias, Mrs Oldfield & Miss Walshe, as without this dedicated, hard-working and talented team there would not have existed this fabulous production.

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