Orphan Annie's coming to cheer everyone up

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 March, 2012, 12:00am


Music-loving Hongkongers will have the chance to escape from their own 'hard knock lives' and enjoy a tale of doe-eyed optimism from an earlier period of economic turmoil when a British production of the much-loved musical Annie arrives in the city.

The musical, based on a popular comic strip and familiar to audiences from the 1982 film version by legendary director John Huston, tells the story of an 11-year-old girl living in a New York orphanage during the depression of the 1930s who is rescued by a kindly billionaire.

It is the first time an international production of Annie has visited Hong Kong, and the scripts and props will closely follow those used in the original Broadway show 35 years ago.

Lunchbox Theatrical Productions has been performing Annie all over the UK for the last decade and the shows in Hong Kong are the only ones it will perform outside Britain during this tour.

Su Pollard, who plays Miss Hannigan, the alcoholic matron who tries to ruin Annie's good fortunes, was in Hong Kong yesterday, and said the show has timeless lessons for anyone going through a rough patch.

'There is a scene where Annie meets President Roosevelt, who is worrying about how to make the country better, and Annie goes: 'It's OK, the sun will come out tomorrow'. It's a young child teaching a grown-up a lesson,' said Pollard, a veteran of stage and screen in Britain.

The production will give 20 local girls aged five to 10 the chance to sing and dance as Annie's orphanage mates. Details of auditions will be announced next week.

Annie herself will be played in rotation by three girls from Britain.

Pollard, 62, said fans could look forward to some competitive spirit from a cast keen to outshine the 35th anniversary production of Annie being staged on Broadway this year.

Annie will run at the Academy of Performing Arts in Wan Chai from May 31 to June 10