2020 (July 18 & 19) Annie JR – the Musical
The young stars of this famous Broadway Musical, based on Thomas Meehan’s book “Little Orphan Annie”. (Music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin) aged 6 to 16, gave three absolutely brilliant performances of this 1-act musical and their last performance on Saturday 18 July 2020 ended with a standing ovation.
Initially the musical had been scheduled for March, but COVID-19 virus meant it had to be postponed until July.
Starring – many in more than just one role!
Annie finally finds refuge in Alderney!
Whilst theatres and concert halls across the world are deserted and audiences have to rely on digital media for any access to live performance, the people of Alderney, and their visiting Bailiwick friends, have been treated to what may well be one of the first live theatre productions, in front of an audience, in the British Isles – or maybe the world! And what a show it was too…Twenty-two young members of the Alderney Theatre group put on 3 performances of the Broadway hit ‘Annie Jr’ in the Island Hall on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th July to sell-out audiences. The production had been originally scheduled for the end of March but, due to restrictions in place by that time, was postponed indefinitely. Only as phase 5 approached was there a glimmer of hope and, with most of the cast heading off on staycation at different points during the summer holidays, or to college in Guernsey in September, the only possible dates for the production were the first two days of the summer holidays, leaving 3 weeks and 1 day from the first Thursday rehearsal date until the performance, with a huge amount to do. However, the young cast, aged from 9-16, relished the challenge and pulled off 3 truly superb performances.
With Aleks Jakubowska in the title role of Annie and a supporting cast of orphans (Lucia Simeone, Poppy Gauvain, Isabella Simeone, Hollie Maurice, Anna Tangkam, Grace Millan and Amber Shaw) and villains, including Jenny Taylor as the decidedly unpleasant Miss Hannigan, with her equally dastardly co-conspirators Rooster and Lily (Tobin Collier and Courteney Benfield) and Alex Nellist as the hero of the day – the billionaire Oliver Warbucks with his efficient secretary Grace, played by Lottie Dawber, the young thespians expertly sang, danced and dramatically led us through the familiar rags-to-riches story of the little orphan Annie in New York City.
A stunning set design by Nick Collier was complimented by lighting from Ronnie Cairnduff and a wardrobe provided by Liz Sumner. Directors Maxine Simeone and Maria Collier, who provided guidance to the actors and piano accompaniment, were delighted with what their young charges achieved – “We were very unsure as to how this would work, in such a short amount of time, with the threat of a certain virus still looming, but were totally bowled over by the commitment, enthusiasm and tenacity of our young cast, who exceeded not only our expectations but those of their audiences too. We have been privileged to work with these incredible young people again.” The cast now eagerly await the video of the performance to share with their families, many of whom are still living restricted lives in the UK and were unable to come to the performances as they had hoped to do.
A large selection of photographs are now published on our Flickr site. To view or download, click here