The popular story of orphan Annie is being brought to life on stage at Avon Valley College this week.
The musical tells the story of the little girl who leaves the orphanage behind to live a life of luxury with billionaire Oliver Warbucks. But of course there are lots of twists and turns along the way, as well as some great songs, including Tomorrow and Hard Knock Life.
“With a group of strong female singers we wanted to make the most of their talents and find a show that would allow a number of them to gain further experience in leading a production,” said AVC teacher, Collette Harries. “So Annie was our first choice. With the orphan parts, comes the opportunity for younger members of the school to gain experience in the production, build their confidence and hopefully grow to play bigger roles in the future.”
The role of Annie is being played by Year 8 Mary Wise. This is her first AVC production, unlike her brother, Joel, who is playing Oliver Warbucks. Joel, who is in Year 11, wants to be an actor and has appeared in several AVC productions.
Miss Hannigan is played by Year 11 student Katie Gambold, whose dream is to be a star on the West End stage. Rooster, Miss Hannigan’s brother is played by Year 10 student Adam Batty. The character of Grace, Oliver Warbucks’ secretary is played by Year 11 Paige Dobson and Lily, Rooster’s girlfriend is played by Year 10 Jade Blandford.
Lots of students and teachers have been busy behind the scenes too. Year 12 B-Tec Art students, Amelia Blandford and Alice Evans have worked hard to create the set. Year 11 Michael Hibbs has led the technical crew, along with Sam Lawless and Ross Mercer.
Alishia Horner has helped in directing the show. There has been lots of support from the wider community.
Helen Mathison CEO of Salisbury Plain Academies, of which Avon Valley College is a part said: “This looks to be a great performance, lots of students are involved; on stage, front of house and behind the scenes.
“Productions like these give students opportunities to explore, discuss and deal with difficult issues and to express themselves in a supportive environment.
“Drama enables students to explore their own values and helps them to find their own voices, and cross-college performances encourage students to think and act creatively, helping them to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills that can be applied in all areas of life.”