Feisty orphan Annie charms tough billionaire Warbucks at Horsham’s Capitol

Picture by Chris Dale
Picture by Chris Dale

Martin Bracewell will have a fabulous journey to go on as he takes to the stage with HAODS in Horsham as Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks in their production of Annie.

The musical features classic songs like ‘It’s the Hard Knock Life’ and ‘Easy Street’, plus the heartfelt ‘Tomorrow’ in the story of feisty orphan Annie whose boundless optimism takes her on all kinds of adventures.

Martin Bracewell as Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks. Picture by Chris Dale

Martin Bracewell as Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks. Picture by Chris Dale

In the midst of it all, Martin has got to show the transformation she triggers in Warbucks.

“He is great fun to play. He is a self-made man. He was an orphan and he has made his millions and billions without anybody’s help. He has really been quite ruthless. It is not that he has not been a nice person. It is just that he is really driven.”

But Warbucks completely misses what’s happening around him, says Martin.

“He doesn’t realise that his personal secretary is in love with him. It just hasn’t registered with him. But the first time anybody gets through his shell is when he meets Annie. She is an orphan as well. Like him, she has got a sense of purpose. She has got drive as well. She is determined to find her parents. But what really appeals to him is the fact that she stands up to him. There is a great scene when they first meet. He sends her away to go to the cinema. He doesn’t realise that he should be spending time with her, but she says that he should. She is defiant, and he is not used to someone being like that with him. And then the rest of the story is her winning him over completely.”

Picture by Chris Dale

Picture by Chris Dale

As a baby, Annie was left by her parents at the New York Municipal orphanage, leaving her in the care of the harsh Miss Hannigan. Annie’s fortunes take a turn for the better, when Grace Farrell, PA to billionaire businessman Warbucks, chooses her to spend Christmas with them. Annie instantly charms the hearts of everyone she meets, including the seemingly cold-hearted Warbucks… but something is missing – her real parents. Warbucks launches a nationwide search to find them, offering a reward to anyone who can prove their identity as her mother and father.

Meanwhile, Miss Hannigan’s evil brother Rooster and accomplice Lily St Regis plan to impersonate Annie’s parents to claim the reward for themselves.

Martin has been a member of HAODS for about five years: “I had moved down south from Lancashire and I was working in the area and didn’t know many people. When I was at college, I used to do theatre, and that was always a great way of people meeting. When I was trying to grow some roots in the area, it seemed a natural thing to look around for the local theatre company.”

Annie is at The Capitol from Tuesday to Saturday, November 15-19.

Picture by Chris Dale

Picture by Chris Dale

For tickets visit www.thecapitolhorsham.com or call 01403 750220.

To find out more about Horsham Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society click here

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