The Weald School in Billingshurst performed three nights of their production of ‘Annie’ last week, and you can bet your bottom dollar that it was amazing! The secondary school and sixth form students, as well as staff, have been preparing for the production since the start of the term, and the hard work they’ve put in has culminated in three spectacular performances.

Set during the Great Depression in the 1930s, Annie, a young orphan, spends her days at miserable Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. That is, until she is invited to spend Christmas at billionaire Oliver Warbucks’ mansion. Driven by her hatred for Annie, Miss Hannigan plots to prevent Oliver Warbucks from adopting the young girl. With songs such as ‘It’s the Hard Knock Life’, ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile’, the musical’s popular numbers tell a story of holding hope through difficult times. Many versions of the popular musical have been produced in the past, and The Weald School added its own personal interpretation, thanks to the work of staff and students.  

Within the musical, many students and staff are involved – the band, the cast, lighting and sound crew, directors and more. In the Drama department, students even ran their own box office, collecting money for tickets at lunchtimes. Ian Gardner, the head of Music at The Weald, who had a key role in directing the band amongst other things, said ‘Annie has been a wonderful show for us to put on as the cast required gives great opportunities to a wide range of young actors and singers, both in lead and supporting roles.’ He continued, ‘The songs are all excellent and the audiences have left humming the tunes every night.’

With such memorable numbers and a fantastic cast, this year’s production has certainly made a lasting impression on those who watched it and has provided enriching opportunities for those who took part. What an enjoyable event to end the year, and what The Weald does next with their performing arts team is sure to be a success!