The last time I saw Annie was on a family trip to the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton in November 2000 where I think (if my memory serves me – and Google is right) Lesley Joseph played Miss Hannigan and Kevin Colson was Daddy Warbucks. But on Tuesday night at the Blackfriars theatre I watched the BOS Musical Theatre Group in the same production. I’d forgotten how many great songs come up throughout the show – including ‘Tomorrow’, ‘Easy Street’ and ‘Hard Knock Life’, I thoroughly enjoyed the performance.
To be honest I’d forgotten a lot of the story, but as one of the most successful musicals in recent years, it tells the heart warming tale of Annie’s escape in 1933 from an orphanage where the wicked Miss Hannigan rules, to start a wonderful new life with Daddy Warbucks and all the adventures she has in between.
The set and all the changes at Blackfriars were very well done; we were transported from bedroom to sewing room, from street corners to shanty town then to Daddy Warbucks sumptuous mansion, to the N.B.C. Radio Studio, to the White House and around and back again.
In the performance on Tuesday, Precious Stewart-Coates played Annie, and delighted the audience over and over again with her beautiful voice, her positive attitude, characterisation and infectious smile! Very well done Precious, I can see why in the programme you have now fulfilled your dream role; I’ll be watching out for future performances! And what great fun you must have had with that gorgeous dog, I saw the effect you had telling him to stay!
Natasha Connor managed to turn the audience against her, and was very believable as the evil Miss Hannigan with her powerful voice and sharp tongue and in contrast, Katy Divilly as Grace Farrell, secretary to the millionaire Oliver Warbucks, was delightfully prim and proper and showed a loving nature, and kind heart.
Ben Gilbert‘s Daddy Warbucks certainly won over the audience, with his warm and loving character; the perfect contrast to the fiesty Annie, a lovely match!
The nasty trio that was Natasha Connor as Miss Hannigan, Rob Callaby as Rooster, and Lucy Allen as Lily St Regis, brought an element of fun to the show, with their double crossing plan, and Lily’s larger than life enthusiasm; they got their justified boo’s from the audience at the end!
It would be unforgivable for me not to mention Christian Slingsby, (one of my Jesus Christ Superstar, Lincoln Cathedral co-performers), who played a variety of characters including Bert Healy of N.B.C. Radio where he played his usual charming self and the powerful President Roosevelt. A definite change from the last role we saw him in – ‘Into the Woods’ also at Boston, where he played one of the Princes (we’ll never forget ‘Agony’ and the shirt ripping episode! – and just for the record – we can’t wait for the next show!)
All the cast did great and obviously had a lot of fun putting on the show; it was a very entertaining evening with a real feel good atmosphere. There are a few more opportunities to see this show at Boston, so give it a chance, and take the family, you won’t be disappointed! Click here for details and tickets for the remaining performances Tonight, Friday 24th at 7.30pm, Saturday 25th at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.
Well done to all the Production Team, including the Director and Producer, Stuart Bull (who says in the programme he’d prefer to be performing to directing for an easier life!)