REVIEW: Musical has the feel-good factor

Niamh Mulvihill as Annie, pictured with the orphans and Matt Darsley as Daddy Warbucks.
Niamh Mulvihill as Annie, pictured with the orphans and Matt Darsley as Daddy Warbucks.

Annie is one of the all-time classic feel-good musicals ever written.

This show was one of the first tours I was involved in, so I have very close ties to it, and have seen many a production.

Therefore I didn’t hesitate when asked to review the New Mills Art Theatre production.

From the moment the orchestra started playing the overture I was there again; the curtain rises and we are in the orphanage, very cleverly six orphans appear from three tiny beds. The children were great all the way through the show; you can’t have Annie without them.

Annie, played by Niamh Mulvihill, was one of the finest performances I have seen for this part. She could easily perform this on the professional stage.

There is a strong supporting cast: Miss Hannigan (Colette Desborough), Warbucks (Matt Darsley) and Rooster (James Darsley) all gave good performances, Grace (Beverley Eaves) played an exceptional role, and a fine chorus in strong voice performed with confidence.

At times I was drawn in so much, I forgot I was watching an amateur production, you can’t help but get carried away with the story, which doesn’t slow the show down, as there is musical number after musical number, and when was the last time you have seen/heard a 16-piece band in the pit?

Annie is well directed by Micky Merrimen, with fine choreography by Angela Draper, and superb musical direction from David Chapman.

This is a production not to be missed, it is uplifting, puts a smile on your face, and I bet you come away humming the tunes!

Adrian Leggett

• Performances of Annie take place tonight (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday) at 7.15pm, and Saturday at 2.15pm and 7.15pm. For tickets, call 01663 742951.