Ella’s happy as Annie

The Wokingham Paper - - LEISURE -

FOR this Annie, it’s any­thing but a hard knock life. Eleven-year-old Ella New­bor­ough is cel­e­brat­ing her lead role in Read­ing Op­er­atic So­ci­ety’s lat­est pro­duc­tion.

She is one of a num­ber of ta­lented chil­dren who form much of the cast of the ever-pop­u­lar rags to riches tale of a lit­tle or­phan girl and the tri­als and tribu­la­tions of re­unit­ing her with a se­cret for­tune.

The group were re­hears­ing at Ear­ley St Peter’s church hall on Sun­day when The Wok­ing­ham Pa­per caught up with the star of the show.

Young Ella was bit­ten by the stage bug af­ter her par­ents took her to see a mu­si­cal in Lon­don. The bright lights, the grease paint and, well, the mu­sic en­tranced her and she has never looked back.

“When I was in Year Three I went to see Mamma Mia in the West End, I knew this was what I wanted to do,” she said. So she did, and roles in Je­sus Christ Su­per­star and an­other pro­duc­tion of Annie fol­lowed.

“Annie was two years ago,” she said. “I know the songs – To­gether is my favourite – and I re­ally like the show.

“It’s great to be part of Read­ing Op­er­atic So­ci­ety. I en­joy singing and danc­ing and I’m en­joy­ing work­ing with the other kids. Line learn­ing hasn’t been too bad as I’ve been in Annie be­fore.”

For now though, Ella is ex­cited as the show comes to­gether - it’s per­formed at the Ken­ton The­atre in Hen­ley from Wednesday, Septem­ber 26 to Satur­day, Au­gust 29.

Tickets are sell­ing fast, with the Satur­day mati­nee – which is in aid of Men­cap – al­ready sold out.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to per­form­ing on the stage,” she said. “I’m a lit­tle bit ner­vous, but I’ve done it be­fore. Lots of my friends will be com­ing to watch it.”

And Ella hopes you’ll be there too. Annie is per­formed at The Ken­ton The­atre in Hen­ley from Wednesday, Septem­ber 26 to Satur­day, Septem­ber 29 with shows at 7.30pm nightly and a sold-out Satur­day mati­nee at 2.30pm. Tickets cost £19 or £17 for con­ces­sions. For more de­tails, log on to ken­tonthe­atre.co.uk or call 01491 575698 week­days from 11am to 3pm or 10am to 1pm on Satur­days.

For more on the so­ci­ety, log on to www.readin­gops.co.uk

Pic­ture: Phil Creighton

Ella New­bor­ough’s Annie is team­ing up with Gabriel the dog – play­ing Sandy – for Read­ing Op­er­atic So­ci­ety’s au­tumn show

The cast of Annie dur­ing re­hearsals on Sun­day at Ear­ley St Peter’s Church Hall

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