'Annie' a triumph for local youngsters

Loud applause greets hugely enjoyable production

and the Lady Eleanor Holles Band (and friends). They rewarded the young cast with loud and long applause for the highly enjoyable production.

"It was a very ambitious show and the children showed great talent and confidence" said Father Kevin Morris, vicar of St Michael's. "They put a huge amount of work into it and so did the director and music director and many of the parents."

The crucial role of Annie, the optimistic orphan who inspires President Roosevelt to launch the New Deal and lead America out of the Depression, was played by 8-year-old Milly Forrest with great verve and obvious enjoyment. Her natural talent shone through and she sang and acted as though she'd been on the stage for years.

www.diannabonner.co.uk The cruel orphanage owner Miss Hannigan was played by Harriet Preston with great professionalism, winning lots of laughs and singing and dancing with great style and aplomb. Her brother, Archie Preston, brought great presence to the role of President Roosevelt, and their young sister, Maisie, brought the house down as one of the orphans, when she did the splits at the end of the number 'You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile'.

Thomas Rogers and Jocelyn Juritz played the scheming couple Rooster and Lily with great style, Nick Chambers was an appealing billionaire in the role of Daddy Warbucks and Emily Paines brought great charm to the part of his secretary Grace. More than 30 other children played other roles, and the big chorus numbers involving the orphans, the 'Hooverites', the President's po-faced political advisers and the commercial radio station were greeted with great applause.

www.diannabonner.co.ukMuch of the credit must go to the director Esta Charkham and music director Phoebe Woollam and a large team of parents, who helped with the sets, costumes, makeup and technical production.

The production was sponsored by Letts, the educational publisher, which is based in the Chiswick High Road.

The money raised from this year's Bedford Park Festival is going to St Mary's Convent & Nursing Home Appeal.

For more details and a full Festival programme, contact the parish office of St Michael & All Angels Church on 020 8994 1380, or visit the Festival Website

The pictures featured in this article were taken by Dianna Bonner

June 18, 2003

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