Never work with children or animals is a showbiz adage but one which Bolsover Drama Group have wisely chosen to ignore.
A combination of both in the musical Annie promises big audiences for the youth section’s production at the town’s Assembly Rooms this week.
Children and the dog behave beautifully in their respective roles, acting on cue in a praiseworthy offering.
Sienna Alsop in the title role showed little sign of first-show nerves last night (Wednesday) in a heart-warming performance as the orphan for whom fortune smiles when she’s taken in by a billionaire businessman.
Four-legged friend Coco, playing Sandy, followed her lead, only disobeying the little star’s request once which added to the audience’s enjoyment.
Callum Priest maintained the role of detached Daddy Warbucks well, complemented by Charlotte Blunt as glamorous, kind secretary Grace.
Comedy came from the terrific trio of Sophie Clifford playing orphanage tyrant Miss Hannigan, Jared Higgins as her no-good brother Rooster and Grace Randall as partner in crime Lily. Their rendition of Easy Street was a highlight of the show.
The orphans were delightful, one getting dumped in a laundry basket, another getting wedged in a bucket.
Frequent scene changes kept backstage and technical crew busy as did the temporary failure of spotlights and a stuck siding door in the second half.
However, everyone puts heart and soul into creating a feel good show for all the family, not least its director Donna Knowles and producer/musical director Wendy Blunt.
Annie continues its run at the Assembly Rooms, Bolsover, until Saturday, July 16.