Annie the Musical comes to Saffron Walden

ANNIE the family musical is to be staged at the town hall this July in a collaboration between the award-winning Saffron Walden youth and adult musical Theatre companies.

The popular, optimistic story of the red-headed orphan will be performed by a cast of over 40 children and adults as part of the theatre company’s joint 90th birthday celebrations, from July 11-15.

Featuring a cast of memorable characters including the multi-billionaire Daddy Warbucks, and the wicked orphanage boss Miss Hannigan, the show features many popular songs including It’s a Hard Knock Life, Tomorrow and Anything but You.

Established in 1922, the Saffron Walden Musical Theatre Company introduced its youth group in 1974 (for 11-18 year olds), and has been a springboard for young talent, with many having gone on to drama school and to perform in the West End.

The group has staged over 100 shows with productions often winning recognition by the National Operatic Dramatic Association.

Annie was originally a Broadway musical by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin, and Thomas Meehan. It was first staged in the West End in 1978, winning the Tony award for the best musical.

Matthew Chancellor, director, who has been involved with the company for six years, said: “We chose Annie for the anniversary production because it is an ideal show for us to combine the talent of our adult and youth groups.

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“We are having great fun rehearsing together and the show promises to lift everyone’s spirits, sending the audience out of the theatre whistling their favourite tunes.”

Annie is played by 14-year-old Florence Russell, a pupil at Saffron Walden County High, who said: “I’m so excited to be taking part in this special production of Annie - it has always been one of my favourite shows.”

Florence has recently been accepted to take part in a National Youth Theatre production and will be performing in the West End at the Apollo Theatre this Summer.

• Performances are at 7.30pm with a 2.30pm matinee. Tickets are available from the Tourist Information Centre.