No Easy Street for cast and crew of Annie

SAMS Annies: Chloe Lorentzen (left) and Emma Wheeler
SAMS Annies: Chloe Lorentzen (left) and Emma Wheeler

Staging amateur musical productions is always a labour of love.

Cast and crew sacrifice precious spare time for months of rehearsals before the curtain finally goes up.

But, for Stamford Amateur Musical Society’s (SAMS) latest family show, Annie, the frenetic schedule has doubled.

Such is the scale of this musical extravaganza that, for the first time in the award-winning society’s 112-year history, it has two teams of child performers treading the boards.

And that means as well as learning lines, perfecting complicated choreography and mastering a medley of songs the adult actors are attending twice as many rehearsals as they would normally to practise with both junior casts.

Director Jo Henderson, who is assisted by Sharon Middleton, explains: “We had a tremendous response to our pre-audition workshops and the audition itself. With so many talented young performers eager to take part we took the unprecedented decision to have two children’s casts.

“This has meant the adult society members have had to attend twice as many rehearsals as they would usually in the run-up to a show.

“But we all agree it has been extremely worthwhile to give more girls the opportunity to showcase their outstanding singing, dancing and acting skills in this fabulous family musical.

“And let’s not forget, this is an extremely challenging show for the children - some as young as eight years old - and they have had to put in a lot of time and effort too.”

Adult cast members will be performing in all six shows, with junior teams appearing in alternate performances.

Annie, the classic Broadway musical based on the comic strip Little Orphan Annie, tells the heart-warming story of a brave little girl during the Great Depression in 1933 New York.

Living in an orphanage run by Miss Hannigan (Di Lander), Annie (Chloe Lorentzen and Emma Wheeler) endures a life of misery...but is determined to track down her real parents.

Her luck finally changes when she is asked to spend Christmas at a grand residence in Manhattan with the famous billionaire businessman Oliver ‘Daddy’ Warbucks (Bill Lawrence) who offers to help her in her search.

But, mean Miss Hannigan has other ideas and sets about making plans to spoil Annie’s hopes of finding her family.

With its unforgettable songs - including Hard Knock Life, Maybe, Easy Street and Tomorrow - and an optimistic storyline, SAMS’ Annie promises to be a real treat for all the family.

Tickets, £13.50 for adults, £9 for children and £12.50 for concessions, plus a booking fee, are available from www.stamford-corn-exchange.co.uk or on 01780 766455.