Saturday 20 October 2018


Hundreds pin their hopes on playing musical orphan

Denise Clarke

The daughter of RTE star Gerry Ryan was among more than a thousand children who queued for hours yesterday for their chance to become the next Orphan Annie.

Joined by her broadcaster father, Babette Ryan was one of the girls aged between seven and 12 who lined up outside Tripod on Harcourt Street in Dublin to audition for a role in the Irish production of the musical 'Annie'.

A firm family favourite, 'Annie' tells the story of a fiery, young orphan girl in 1930s America who must live in a miserable orphanage run by the tyrannical Miss Hannigan, to be played by Rebecca Storm.


The young hopefuls sang a verse of 'Tomorrow' and performed a dance routine to 'Hard Knock Life' for producer Stuart O'Connor and co-producer and choreographer Ciara Armstrong. All the children who got through to the next stage were told to return 'Tomorrow, Tomorrow' to participate in a workshop at Tripod from 11am.

Producer Stuart O'Connor said the standard was "very high". He added: "Our Annie is basically a young girl with a playing age of 11 who is full of energy, full of spirit. She also needs to be able to sing, dance and act. The acting part is kind of like a comic actress so it's not your straight acting."

Three students from the National Performing Arts School (NPAS) in Dublin to get through to the next round were Dara Farrelly (11), Becky Barry (11) and Romey Farrelly (7), all from Castleknock.

"I feel really happy right now. I feel like I've won the Lotto," Dara said. Becky, who is famous for her prank phone calls as 98FM's 'Little Becky', described the audition as "fun". Romey auditioned for the part of Annie's best friend, Molly, because "it's a really cute part."

Chloe McBride (9) travelled from Gorey, Co Wexford, and had been queueing since 8am. "I love the musical 'Annie'. I like the fact she found her one true place where she belongs with Oliver Warbucks. The songs and dancing in the show are really good," she said.

Further auditions will be held at Cork Opera House tomorrow from 10am.

The production will take to the Olympia Theatre stage in Dublin from July 3 until July 26 and Cork's Opera House from August 3 to 15.

Tickets are on sale from Ticketmaster and usual outlets.

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