Young actresses share star duties as upbeat Annie at Horsham’s Capitol

Annie (Cassie Philpott) and friends have a laugh at Miss Hannigans expense

Annie (Cassie Philpott) and friends have a laugh at Miss Hannigans expense

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Two young actresses are fulfilling their dreams as they alternate in the role of Annie in the hit musical in Horsham this week.

Ten-year-old Harriet Douglas and 12-year-old Cassie Philpott are sharing star duties as the orphan girl whose determination and boundless optimism change everything and everyone for the better.

Harriet Douglas as Annie

Harriet Douglas as Annie

Harriet is relishing the challenge: “We had to go the place where they rehearse, and we had to sing a couple of songs from the musical, Maybe and Tomorrow. We had to learn a dance. And we had to do some acting. And we got the part.

“The first time I saw Annie was when I was two. Since then I have always thought that maybe one day I could play the part. I just loved the role of Annie. I just watched it over and over again. I used to dress up like her and pretend to be her. When I got older, five or six, I just knew that I would be able to play her.

“It’s really, really fun. When you are working with adults, it is like you feel you are actually Annie. I love acting. It’s really fun. I love pretending that I am Annie. When I am playing Annie, I think that I actually am Annie!

“Annie can be quite feisty at times, but she can be really sweet and loving. When she gets upset, it is quite hard to do because maybe you don’t know how upset she is, but you have got to cry and make it look like you are really crying. But I think I am managing.

“I think you need to be a little bit nervous otherwise you have got nothing to aim for, but I am really excited about the opening night – as well as nervous. Once you start, you are OK.

“I have done other shows before. I was in The Wizard of Oz for HAODs, and I auditioned for The Sound of Music, but they said I was too young. I had to wait a little bit.”

HAODS’s production of Annie is at The Capitol this week, from Tuesday-Saturday, November 15-19.

Sharing the role with Harriet is Cassie.

“I am really excited,” she said. “I wanted to do it because I love acting and I love singing and I have done shows before. I did a few clubs when I was younger and then I joined HAODS. I joined about a year ago.

“Annie is giving and loving and she is very determined. We had to audition. We learnt a bit of the script and we did it with other people and we also sang. We heard the morning after. They told us by email. It was very exciting. This is my first big role.

“There is pressure but hopefully I will enjoy it. You have just got to keep practising because if you don’t then it is not going to be fun!”

And it’s definitely where Cassie wants to be.

“I want to be in the West End when I grow up. I want to be doing musicals.”

For tickets visit the box office at www.thecapitolhorsham.com or call 01403 750220.

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