In the theatrical world, they say you should never perform with children or animals. Well, Lichfield Operatic Society proved the exception to the rule this week with its production of Annie. The delightful performances of the children blended beautifully with those of the adults in the show to provide a very entertaining evening. And the dog (Arthur or Rufus – not sure which one performed on Wednesday) outshone any canine I’ve seen on Britain’s Got Talent! Two young ladies are sharing the title role, Katie Davey and Molly Bagley. Molly played Annie on Wednesday and she just shone in the role. An extremely accomplished performance. The young orphans were just wonderful to watch – word perfect and not a foot wrong – obviously expertly coached by Production Director Lynne Hill, Choreographer Natalie Haslam and Musical Director Mark Timms. It’s always a pleasure to watch Pete Beck on stage and he did more than justice to his role as Oliver ‘Daddy’ Warbucks. And Julie Mallaband almost stole the show as the drunken ‘drill master’ head of the orphanage, Miss Hannigan. The Easy Street number, featuring Julie, Patrick Jervis as Rooster Hannigan and Charlotte Middleton as Lilly St Regis was, for me, one of the most memorable scene in the show. It’s impossible to mention everyone’s names in this huge cast, but suffice it to say every one of them contributed one hundred per cent to this delightful production. Back-stage, lighting and sound crews are to be congratulated and wardrobe provided some super costumes. This is very much a ‘feel-good’ show and the audience on Wednesday certainly left with smiles on their faces. Annie runs at the Lichfield Garrick until Saturday (April 22). I look forward to the Society’s next production, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, in November.