Annie actress follows mum's lead at Mansfield Palace

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Mum's pride to see her own daughter play Annie on the stage - thirty years after she played the same role.

Childhood actress Claire Wragg was one of the first people in the country to play Annie on the stage.

Three decades on, the proud mum is set to see her own daughter take on the role in the same theatre.

Claire 42, originally from Mansfield and now living in Huthwaite remembers her pride to open the show at the Palace Theatre in April 1985.

She said: “The film had not long been out and it had just been adapted into a musical. Phoenix Theatre group were doing it and it was the first time Annie was done in the East Midlands.

“It was my first role, and I got it when the Chad put an advert in looking for young girls to audition. There were 100s of girls on stage for the part.

“It ran for just over a week. It was once in a lifetime thing, and I was so excited. I was so nervous because I was only 10.

But Claire actually went on to play the same role two years later and since then she’s played a big part in local theatre groups.

Now Claire and her husband Ian, 43, both work with the Mansfield Operatic Society.

So they’re amazingly proud that their daughter is following in their footsteps – particularly as she is set to play the same role as her mum.

Ella, 13, got into theatre when she was six, first playing Gretel in the Sound of Music alongside her mum, who played one of the Nuns.

The a pupil at Quarrydale School, Sutton is already making a name for herself, having competed in numerous dance competitions around the country, and performing in pantomimes with

Keith Chegwin and Gareth Gates, and is about to dance alongside Strictly’s Pasha Kovalev with the Lisa Gail cabaret troop. Her crowning achievement is performing at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Ella said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic – I’m so lucky to have been chosen out of all of the amazing auditionees. I can’t believe I’m playing the part in the same theatre as my mum did. I hope

I do everybody proud and put on a good show for all of the audience. It’s an experience of a lifetime and I can’t wait for everybody to see the show.”

Her mum added: “It was Ella who got me back into theatre. We’re a dramatic family - people say we’re like the Von Trapps.”

Ian, an engineer, will also be in the production as the ventriloquist for Fred McCracken.

The dad said: “I remember seeing Claire play the role on the same stage when I went to watch her – our parents were the best of friends. I am so amazingly proud of both of them, Ella is a ‘mini-me’ of her Mum and her talent is second to none. She’s going to be fantastic.”

Ella will share the starring role with Madison Naylor for the run of performances from March 6-12.