Theatre preview: Annie, Brunton Theatre

IT’S a hard knock life for the orpahans over at the Brunton Theatre this week, which can mean only one thing, Musselburgh Amateur Musicals Association (MAMA) have chosen the Broadway smash Annie as their 2013 production.

Ignoring the old saying ‘never work with children or animals’ director David Ross is excited about the musical. “We have a fantastic troupe of young performers who are so enthusiastic and that really rubs off on the rest of the cast. We also have a dog in the show, Archie, who will play Sandy for the second time in his stage life - he’s a real pro.”

With well-known numbers such as Tomorrow and Easy Street, Annie follows the plight of the eponymous orphan, who longs to escape the clutches of New York orphanage owner Miss Hannigan. When no-nonsense billionaire Oliver Warbucks offers to have an orphan stay at his luxurious mansion for Christmas, Annie see her chance to escape to a better life. However, nothing is ever that simple. It’s the ideal musical to showcase MAMA’s talents, believes Ross, who says, “The company has a real community spirit about it. Everyone is here for the same reason, to enjoy themselves and that really shows and comes across on stage. We have performers aged from eight to 80, all equally eager to put on the best show we can.”

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Now in their 62nd year, MAMA boasts more than 70 acting and non-acting members, who have been in rehearsals for Annie since late last year.

Founded in 1950 the company performed their first show, A Country Girl, the following year; however, this is the first time in their history that they have tackled Annie.

Ross adds, “The cast are of course relishing the challenge of taking on something completely new.”

Annie, Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, until tomorrow, 7.30pm (Saturday matinee, 2pm), £10-£12, 0131-665 2240