Annie

. It's the feel-good musical that has captivated audiences for more than four decades.

A young flame-haired girl escapes an oppressive life in an orphanage run by a drug-addled matron.

Adopted into the home of an influential New York City businessman, she discovers everything that has felt hollow in her life.

Advertisement

The very fabric of the piece speaks to us all. We don't have much control over what happens to us in life, but we can meet that challenge with hope - because if you can just hang on until tomorrow, the sun will come out again.

Annie is a prime example of this determination. At such a young age, there is a perception deep within her. I applaud the young actress Holly Thompson for the contrast of youth and sage intelligence she brought to the role.

Musically, the cast has a dynamic sound. In all group numbers I thoroughly enjoyed the blend of voices. Particular notice should be paid to Bailey Hocking, who portrayed billionaire tycoon Oliver Warbucks. His voice is rich. Funny that. His presence is keenly felt as soon as he hits the stage.

Warbucks' secretary, Grace Farrell, is played by Tessa Olsson. There is a poise to her performance that's second-to-none. Her voice is mellifluous and she has a natural understanding of character that is typified by the detail brought to the role.

I enjoyed the sardonic humour of the piece, brought to life particularly by Lily-Jane Lawley and Levi Williams. The latter's turn opposite the Boylan Sisters is particularly humorous.

Indeed, all three young women who played the siblings should be commended, along with numerous other supporting roles including that of Charlie Childs, who portrayed butler Drake.

The cast and crew of this Otumoetai College school production can be proud of the standard and quality brought to the Baycourt Stage. Director Petrina Thomas-Chisholm has delivered an endearing revival of this theatre classic.

The show has a limited run until May 26. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketek.