An orphan’s tale
THE 30th anniversary of Broadway show Annie is to be celebrated at the Gaiety Theatre by the young cast of JT Productions at the end of this month.
The island stage production of Annie Jr will follow the huge success of the company’s Bugsy Malone show last October.
‘Everyone was in awe at how great Bugsy was with a cast of all under-18s,’ explained the group’s founder James Turpin.
‘We think it is great that such opportunities can be given to youngsters and Annie Jr just seemed like the perfect next step up for our young cast.
‘It has great songs and a lovely storyline and it is an old time classic which appeals to both the young and old generation.’
The heartwarming show tells the story of Annie who wants to escape from her all-girls orphanage to find her real parents and billionaire Mr Warbucks who wishes to look after an orphan for a week.
In this producion, Annie is played by 12-year-old Lois Mooney, a QEII pupil who lives in Peel.
She said: ‘It was a tough audition process but I was delighted to get the role of Annie. Rehearsals have been going great.
‘One of the best bits was the doggy auditions – they were all so cute but we could only pick one.’
‘I’m really looking forward to the opening night,’ she exclaimed.
She will be joined by St Ninian’s High School pupil Juan Riordan, 16, who will take on the role of Mr Warbucks. His fellow St Ninian pupil Paige Gilmour, also 16, will play Miss Hannigan while QEII pupil Saroja Lily Ratnavel, 14, will play Grace Farrell.
QEII pupil Beth Thomas, 15, of Lower Foxdale, and St Ninian’s pupil Hannah Morrison, 14, of Douglas, share the role of Lily St Reges while Rooster will be played by 14-year-old Onchan resident Ben Karran, who attends St Ninian’s High School.
They are all relatively seasoned actors having performed across the island from a young age. In fact Lois, Paige, Saroja Lily, Beth and Hannah were all in Bugsy Malone. James said: ‘It was very easy to cast the show as we had literally hundreds of children turn up for the auditions so we could choose the best talent from across the island.
‘It was really popular and we had to run the auditions over two full weekends. We even had a successful turn out for the ‘Sandy auditions’ to find the dog.’
He said: ‘Rehearsals are going great and we are right on schedule. I think the children are definitely ready to move into the theatre now and add some lights and costumes. We have been rehearsing in Douglas and Gena’s Dance Academy in Peel.’
With plenty of singing and dancing, the show will really include something for everyone.
‘Director Gary Chatell and choreographer Gena Turpin have really pulled the stops out this year with some amazing scenes and dance lifts like never before - all performed by children,’ explained James. ‘The most famous songs are Tomorrow, Maybe, Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile and many more from the much-loved 1982 film.’
He concluded: ‘People always left Bugsy Malone absolutely amazed by the standard produced with such a young cast so if you want a good night out and wish to support the island’s up and coming talent then this is a show not to be missed. You can sing along to all of the iconic songs and be astounded by the quality and enjoyment the children bring to this production.’
Annie Jr will take to the Gaiety Theatre stage on Tuesday, October 30 and will run until Saturday, November 3. The shows start at 7.30pm each night, with a matinee performance at 2.30pm on the Saturday.
Adult tickets cost £16 in the stalls and £17 for circle seats. Senior citizens will pay £14 and £15. Tickets are available from the box office on 600555, at the Sea Terminal Welcome Centre or online at www.villagaiety.com
For family (two adults and two under-16s) tickets and under-16 concessions call the box office only.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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