This year’s sell-out performance of ‘Annie’ was a spectacular success!
After months of preparation, the 70 strong cast, involving students from Year 7-13 delivered four show-stopping performances to four consistently packed out audiences. Their polished performances were a result of sheer hard work and determination; from early September students have attended rehearsals three times a week, often late into the evening and also across full weekends. Countless hours of their own time has been dedicated to learning lines, singing songs, perfecting dance routines and blocking scenes and they all did us proud last week by going out there and giving it 110%.
I’m sure that most of you reading this are familiar with ‘Annie’ but for anyone not fortunate enough to see our show, the story is based on the tale of Annie the orphan who lives in a children's home run by the mean Miss Hannigan. Annie believes her parents left her in the orphanage by mistake and when a rich man named Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks decides to let an orphan live with him to promote his image, Annie is selected. However, Annie still longs to meet her parents so Warbucks declares a search for them which encourages many frauds to come forward and try their luck.
Miss McKevitt, Director said:
The show proves that it stands the test of time and that its genuine honesty and positive outlook never loses its relevance, no matter how old you are.
As always the calibre of talent is phenomenal and our students made it very difficult to choose just one person for each role so we decided to double cast some of the lead roles, giving all our students the deserved opportunity to shine on stage!
Mrs Barker, Choreographer said:
It has been a delight to work with our whole cast and group of core dancers in this year’s production. The show has all of our favourite songs which we know and love and I could not wait to get started to create the routines and bring the scenes to life.
I am very lucky to get to work with such a talented group of students who have rehearsed their socks off, with the several key dance routines that appear in the show. Many of the students were keen to add their own creative input into the choreography and I am sure you will agree, the dancing looked great!
Mrs Cathcart, Musical Director said:
The school production can only become a success when talent and potential are combined with a steady work ethic and a lot of hard work- these are qualities we have seen in abundance in this year’s cast. I have had the privilege of working with the students this year on all musical aspects of the show, from rehearsing individual solo songs to whole-cast numbers and scene change music. I have also been ably assisted this year by peripatetic staff Miss Whittle and Miss McDougall, who have led chorus rehearsals and individual singing lessons to support our students through the rehearsal process.
This year for the first time we featured a combined staff and student band which gave some of our instrumentalists the chance to experience playing in a ‘pit’ orchestra for the show! I am extremely proud of the young musicians who have joined the show band this year and I am sure you will agree, they contributed greatly to four fantastic performances!
Students had the chance throughout the process to experience all aspects of theatre production both on and off the stage. Rhys James and Ryan Pickering (Year 10) made up our technical crew under the watchful eye of Miss Edwards. The boys worked tirelessly to ensure the lighting and sound were as spectacular as the performance on stage. Without them, the atmosphere and mood could not have been captured and kept the audience engaged. Miss McKevitt commented that ‘it is a team effort that brings a show like this to life’. The show isn’t just about the stars on the stage, technical based jobs within the performing arts industry include key roles such as lighting designer, sound designer, backstage crew, costume designer, hair and make-up, special effects, set and props design and many more.
I really enjoyed working with a big cast as I got to meet and work with new people. I feel the show helped improve my singing, acting and dancing. I’ve really enjoyed staff and peers coming up to me telling me how much they enjoyed my performance and it’s given me inspiration to take on more opportunities like this.Mia Graham, Year 10 (played Miss Hannigan)
My favourite part about doing Annie was making new memories along the way and sharing the experience with my friends. I do a lot of performing arts outside of school and it was great to be able to showcase this in school.Millie Bennett, Year 8 (played Annie)
The best thing about doing Annie was doing something that I enjoyed and to take me one step closer to performing on Broadway.Elle-Mae Clare, Year 8 (played Annie)
I enjoyed the chance to play new music that I hadn’t before. It gave a lot of us in the band the opportunity to show what we could do and show off our performing skills.Ben Kavanagh, Year 9 (played drums in the band)
Being part of the cast was really fun and I have enjoyed working with everyone and learning all the dances. I especially enjoyed the tap dance and it has given me a lot more confidence.Katie Hughes-Yeoman, Year 9 (dancer in the show)
Annie has made me so much more confident about being on stage. Before the show, I had never sung in front of anybody and by the end of the production, I had sung in front of over 200 people! It has been an amazing experience.Charlie Oxton, Year 9 (played Grace Farrell)
A big thank you for all you have done with Mia, this was the first time Dad has seen her act and he was amazed!Parent of Mia Graham
Just a quick note to thank you (and everybody else involved) from Mrs Gillard and I for providing us with such uplifting and professional entertainment last night. We are still smiling!Mr Gillard, Maths Teacher and fan of the show!
A massive well-done is also awarded to our four fantastic Year 5 classes, who starred in each of the ‘Annie’ performances:
- Monday Matinee Performance – Palace Fields Primary School, Year 5
- Tuesday – Windmill Hill Primary School, Year 5
- Wednesday – Gorsewood Primary School, Year 5
- Thursday – Brookvale Primary School, Year 5
All four classes worked extremely hard in the run-up to the show, attending rehearsals at OBA and perfecting scenes back at their primary schools for ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life’ and ‘Let’s Go to the Movies’.
Their dedication was clear to see on each performance as the brilliant Year 5 students braved the big stage and sung their hearts out!
To our primary partners - thank you to all teachers, students and parents involved for your support with rehearsals, consent and costumes – it was great to have you involved and we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!
Miss McKevitt said:
I would like to extend a special thank you to all parents who have supported us this year and to everyone who bought a ticket – we could not do this without you. See you again next year!
...and that’s a Wrap!
On Friday afternoon after the hype of the final night of the show, the cast of Annie were treated to a wrap party to celebrate months of hard work and an amazing show! They watched the original version of Annie, munched on popcorn and had a well-deserved break!
Congratulations again to all involved you should be so proud of yourselves!
Until next year...