Sarah Miatt heads along to Ferneham Hall in Fareham to review Fareham Musical Society's latest production: a sell-out show of hit classic musical Annie.
Annie is one of those standout feel good musicals that you can't help but smile at and sing along to. The last time Fareham Musical Society performed this show, they walked away with three awards and one of the Annie's ended up as a professional actor. It's safe to say that this production had a lot to live up to.
The chorus worked incredibly well together with enthusiasm and fantastic harmonies. Of the ensemble roles special mentions must go to the Boylan Sisters, Marie Ridley, Claire Shergill and Emily Halls who certainly made the most of their cameo roles as radio singers and Jonathan Redwood as Butler Drake who was hilariously funny whilst at the same time being very strait laced. Of course you can't have Annie without her dog Sandy and Fareham Musical Society were very lucky to get such an obedient, well behaved and beautiful Dog in Barney.
Graeme Clements as Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks was standoffish and grumpy but when his heart started to warm with Annie he was also very caring and their relationship was very believable. His comic timing was also spot on which is not something you often associate with this role. Kim Seagrove as drunk, crooked orphanage owner Miss Hannigan was very funny and her powerful singing voice belted out the song "Little Girls" very well.
Stephanie McEvoy was lovely as Grace Farrell and it was great to see her relationship with Annie develop. Whilst Stuart Frank as Rooster and Sarah Tappenden as Lily St Regis were fantastic villains of the piece.
Of course the true stars of the show are the orphans. I was lucky enough to see the Purple Team perform and rarely have I seen such a talented group. They were all in character at all times, they were enthusiastic and had clear beautiful voices. Matilda Hughes was a very cute and sassy Molly particularly good at mimicking Miss Hannigan. Eleanor Wallace was simply outstanding as Annie. Her voice was beautiful and she captured the optimistic nature of the little redhead to perfection. A true star is born.
The sellout shows proves that this is a successful production and it was very enjoyable to watch.