Annie at Sneddon Theatre

When KicksArt Theatre co-directors and neighbours, Steven Stead and Greg King, told us they were going to stage the musical ‘Annie’ we thought they had flipped more than somewhat.  ‘It has kids in it,’ we pointed out.  They nodded glumly.  ‘And a dog!’ The nods were glummer, but the determination remained.

True conviction that a life of theatre had finally blown Steven’s mind came when he announced that he would not only be directing it, but would also act the part of the nasty ‘Rooster’ Hannigan.

Annie from iol Tonight

Prepared to witness shambles, disaster and general chaos, we attended last night’s performance – and were blown away.  The kids were seasoned singers, dancers and actresses transplanted into young bodies.  The dog was spot-on with every cue (and bribe), while obviously enjoying every minute.  The adult members of the cast rose to the challenge of being in competition with cute kids and an animal for stage attention, and avoided being upstaged by delivering sterling performances.

As playing one of the parts as well as directing, Steven had given himself the challenge of having to lead by example, so his performance needed to be done particularly well.  It was.  I loved the section where he is acting as ‘Rooster’ when ‘Rooster’ is acting as the diffident long-lost father.  So changed was he that we didn’t recognise him at first.

The songs are challenging for children in particular, and some quality was lost in the lower registers.  The higher notes were all belted out with accuracy and enthusiasm, though.

Visually, the show is dazzling.  Dances are lively and done with wonderful precision, and the tableaus appearing at the end of each number are quite stunningly staged and executed. Sets are, as usual for the ones designed and built by Greg, simply amazing, from orphanage to streets of New York, to the Warbucks mansion and the White House.

By now, you will be sick of all these enthusiastic superlatives.  Don’t take my word for it, though.  Ask any one of the members of the packed-house audience who all stood up and applauded themselves to exhaustion last night.

© Colonialist May 2014 (WordPress)

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
This entry was posted in Art, Personal Journal, Theatre and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. You can never use too many superlatives for me 🙂


  2. nrhatch says:

    Sounds like a show I would enjoy. WOOF!


  3. I never cease to be amazed at the high quality performances our local schools can pull off. They must spend so much time and energy into these productions–nothing like when I was in school!


    • colonialist says:

      I’d hate to see a school try and put THIS production on – it would be far beyond their resources. The young actresses prove, though, that local schools do have the human material available!


  4. The Asian says:

    It sounds like it was a great show!


  5. Sounds like a cracking night out, Col: and all the more enjoyable because it was unexpected!


  6. Sounds like a great night!


  7. Sonel says:

    Beautiful review Col. I loved the movie and can only imagine how beautiful the play was. 😀


  8. I’m singing Tomorrow as I make myself a cup of tea.


  9. bulldog says:

    This is what I’d call a raving revue… wish I had the chance to see it… thanks for the heads up…


  10. misswhiplash says:

    Wonderful, the took a challenge and made a great success. It would have been terrible if it had flopped, but NO, they must be feeling elated this mirning


  11. Leanne Cole says:

    What a great review. Must have been wonderful expecting to see a disaster and then finding out you were witnessing something incredible.


  12. suzicate says:

    I so enjoy watching plays at local schools and universities. The talent at such young ages amazes me at times.


  13. It always amazes me to see the professionalism shown by students in those plays; I’ve seen several, and enjoyed every one. Congratulations to all the cast and crew!


    • colonialist says:

      The poor kids were really thrown into the deep end on this one – it is a world-class theatre company and a fully professional production with seasoned cast. They’ll tend to turn their little noses up at school productions after doing something on this scale!


  14. melouisef says:

    Just loved Annie, sure it will be a great success


  15. Grannymar says:

    That sounds like my kinda entertainment! Well done to all involved.


    • colonialist says:

      An amazing show. The second batch of our family goes on Friday. It will be interesting to see how the grandkids stand up to the two hours of it (not counting interval).


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