The cast of Centrestage Cymru’s presentation of Annie, which comes to Newport’s Dolman Theatre from May 1, have been talking about the show to Andy Howells on the latest Entertainment South Wales Audio Supplement podcast.
Directed by Sharon Higgins, with music direction by Victoria Bryant, Annie is set to warm the hearts of the audience from her rise as a next-to-nothing in 1930s New York City.
Determined to find her parents, who left her at the orphanage 11 years previously, Annie (Felicity Davis) must overcome several obstacles including the controlling orphanage owner, Miss Hannigan. However, allies are at hand in the form of billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his secretary Grace Farrell and lovable pooch, Sandy.
Actress Claudia Barnes has starred in and directed many productions at Newport’s Dolman Theatre in the past, but the role of Miss Hannigan is breaking new ground for Claudia who admits to previously not having seen the film or stage production of Annie.
“I hope to bring a bit of vulnerability to her,” says Claudia, “I’ve given her a bit of a back story and I think she’s more frustrated with her life than angry at the kids. I think probably the kids frighten her more than she frightens them!”
Jordan Archer adds Daddy Warbucks to a long line of classic performances for Centrestage Cymru including Don Lockwood in Singin’ In The Rain and Scarecrow in The Wiz. Although Jordan is a fan of the original film portrayal by the late Albert Finney, he thinks it’s important to bring something of himself to the role.
“If you try and watch those people, you’d never live up to them,” says Jordan, “They’re so iconic. I haven’t seen the film since rehearsal started. I don’t want to imitate that as I want to do my own thing.”
Annie is a feelgood family musical features a classic score written by Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, including hits such as Tomorrow. There are also some magical performances from younger members of the ensemble including Felicity Davis in the title role and members of the Sharon Higgins Academy of Dance performing You’re never fully dressed without a smile and Hard Knock Life.
Jordan Archer continues, “It’s a heart-warming story. They both have things missing in their lives, Annie’s missing her family and Daddy Warbucks is missing someone to love. So, it’s someone who has nothing and someone who has everything.”
Check out the latest Entertainment South Wales Audio Supplement podcast above for interviews with Claudia and Jordan as well as chats with Felicity Davis, Fiona Davies, Ryan Richards and members of the Sharon Higgins Academy of Dance.
Centrestage Cymru’s presentation of Annie runs at Newport’s Dolman Theatre from May 1-4, 2019 with all performances commencing at 7.15pm. For booking details visit dolmantheatre.co.uk or contact 01633 263670.
You can catch video previews of Annie on our entssouthwales YouTube channel.