She may have long blonde hair, but Jemima Pegg is hoping casting directors will remember her for the face of Annie.

The 11-year-old was among more than 400 girls at the Aotea Theatre in downtown Auckland yesterday, auditioning for a part in the UK rags-to-riches musical, which will tour New Zealand this year.

The youngster also attended the Saturday auditions and she might audition again in March in Christchurch, where she lives.

The Cathedral Grammar School pupil said she wanted to increase her chances of scoring the role.


Supported by her mother, Sonia Pegg, Jemima made an effort to stand out with a bright red T-shirt with Annie emblazoned across the front.

She was seeking the role because she liked dancing, singing and acting.

The audition was a bit intimidating but also fun, she said.

"It was kind of scary, but also kind of fun because you get to meet heaps of people."

Her only other musical role was in a school production of Aladdin last year.

Luckily, hair colour was not an issue, as Annie's trademark red locks would be provided with a wig.

Girls were asked to perform a dance in groups of 30 and later perform a solo song.

Auditioners had to be aged between 10 to 12 years old and no more than 150cm tall.

The production's cast of 30 characters will be led by British actor Su Pollard, known for her role in the sitcom Hi-de-Hi, as orphanage principal Miss Hannigan.

Local children are sought for the title character and the fellow orphans.

The musical opens on May 23 at the St James Theatre, Wellington, and plays at the Civic in Auckland from June 13.