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Amber shines as Annie in Brierley Hill show
YOUNG Halesowen performer Amber May Hughes lit up the stage when she took the starring role in The Tab Operatic Society’s production of much-loved musical Annie.
The 12-year old Earls High School pupil positively charmed the audience at Brierley Hill Civic Hall with her bubbly and confident performance as fiesty, flame-haired orphan Annie who enjoys a rags to riches rise to happiness.
The young star-in-the-making, who attends Stagecoach Halesowen, made performing seem a breeze as she belted out captivating renditions of Maybe and Tomorrow with an extraordinary singing voice that belied her years.
In fact all of the youngsters starring as Annie's fellow orphans shone throughout the enjoyable show - produced and choreographed by Audree Henwood.
Seasoned stage star Fleur Petford was also absoutely fabulous as bad-tempered, alcoholic orphanage mistress Miss Hannigan.
She brought out the character’s quirks and grotesqueness perfectly and her rendition of Little Girls was a delight.
Jim Heritage and Sarah Field spiced up the proceedings further as Rooster Hannigan and his girlfriend Lily St Regis who try to con Annie into thinking they are her real parents. Their version of Easy Street, also featuring Miss Hannigan, was particularly entertaining.
John Leaman’s depiction of billionaire Oliver Warbucks, who decides to lift Annie’s fortunes by adopting her, was a little less stern and snappy than I remember from the 1982 film version. Nevertheless his was a likeable and genuine characterisation.
Louise Griffin was also credible as the businessman’s amiable assisant Grace Farrell.
Suitable staging, colourful period costumes, excellent musical direction from Richard Ganner and a sterling performance by professional pooch Danny the dog (as Annie’s dog Sandy) also helped to bring the show to life.
Annie runs until Saturday March 31. For tickets call Diane Bate on 07722 417962.
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