The Broadway show Annie was never one of my favourite productions basically because any show featuring a lot of cutesy, squealing kids turns my blood cold – and the American brand is particularly irritating. I never liked the film version of this musical, I don’t think it transferred to film very well as many musicals rarely do.
But now I have found a version of Annie that I enjoyed remarkably well, in fact it was bloody fantastic and it was the production recently staged by the kids at Knockbreda High School in Belfast. The Year 11′s put on two extremely professional performances of the show, and under the excellent direction of Belfast Operatic Company’s Wilfie Pyper I saw a production that would not have looked out of place in the city’s Grand Opera House. All power to the talent of Wilfie – working with teens and encouraging them to give it their all on stage can sometimes be like pulling teeth but this show was the result of what had obviously been a solid working relationship between cast, crew and director.
What I found to be so enjoyable about the show was the refreshing approach to the theme, the talent of the kids and their excellent timing…not an easy thing to carry off, you either have timing or you don’t. The show moved - I have attended both amateur and professional productions where the pace has seriously lagged well before midway mark but these kids kept the pace up so that they held their audience attention. Northern Ireland – Belfast – can be proud of these kids, it needs to be, and this school has shown in it’s own way that culture and the arts is in good hands for the future.Copyright © 2008-2012 by Wendy. All rights reserved.