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May 2006
reviewed by Kate Young in
The Isle of Wight County Press

(reproduced by kind permission of the Isle of Wight County Press)

The heartwarming musical, Annie, is being performed this week by Cowes Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (CAODS).
This charming tale has its final performances today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday) at Trinity Theatre, in Cowes.
Youngsters Bethan John and Chloe Whillier are doing alternate shows in the lead role and I saw Bethan in action on the opening night.

She had plenty of enthusiasm and a very promising voice. She needed a touch more volume in places but this will come naturally as she matures as a performer. Annie provides plenty of good roles for kids and those in this show are very keen.

I particularly liked Ellie Guy as Mollie but thought the other orphanage kids, played by Lauren Buckett, Bryony Davies, Hannah Buckett, Natasha Downer and Wallace Haywood, gave a great performance and their level of volume improved as the show went on.

Daphne Brown was suitably horrible as Miss Hannigan and I particularly loved her number, Little Girls.
Young CAODS stars Adam Newton and Nicky Stanley played Rooster and Lily with style, while Nick Simmonds was likeable as Oliver Warbucks and Maria Wilkinson made a rather glamorous Grace Farrell.

Seeing CAODS veteran Lionel Osman in the role of President Roosevelt was a bit of a shock but he carried it off well.

The show is directed by Linda Gammon and features numerous other cast members. I felt the first act was a little flat on opening night but in the second half, the pace picked up well and the show ended on a high note.

There are plenty of new faces, as well as some old CAODS favourites and although this was not the most polished CAODS production I have ever seen, I felt the enthusiasm shown boded well for the future.


Kate Young


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