Piper Ramsey, 11 and Anna Gillies, 12 shared the lead role in the Clarence Coast Theatrical Society production of Annie, that finished last week.
Piper Ramsey, 11 and Anna Gillies, 12 shared the lead role in the Clarence Coast Theatrical Society production of Annie, that finished last week. Adam Hourigan Photography

Twice as nice for Annie leads

FOR nearly four months in rehearsal, Piper Ramsey and Anna Gillies mirrored each other on stage, perfecting their lead role in the Clarence Coast Theatrical Society of Annie.

"We'd actually go on together, and even talk at the same time," Piper said. "It was like we were a bit of a mirror image."

And though both expressed a few nerves carrying the three-hour production, their connection meant that even a bout of sickness couldn't halt the show.

"At the start of my third show on the Friday night I was feeling sick," Anna said.

"But I went all though the first half, and got to fifteen minutes from the end before I found an appropriate spot to leave stage."

And at almost 10 o'clock at night, a phone call went out to Piper to come and take over the show.

With Anna taken to hospital with a case of food poisoning, and the ensemble playing an extended musical interlude, within 10 minutes Piper was dressed, made-up, miked-up, and walked on stage to continue the show.

"It was a bit different, but we got the show finished," Piper said.

Looking back on the experience, the girls said it was tough, but one they really enjoyed.

"Meeting all the people in the cast was great," Anna said. "It was great to do something with people our age, and by the end it was a really tight group," Piper said.

"And the support from everyone around backstage was great. There was always a 'don't worry it'll be okay', or a 'well done' when you were nervously waiting to go on."

Director Emma Short said the girls performance was nothing short of remarkable.

"Both Anna and Piper did exceptionally well in such a demanding role. They supported each other through-out the whole process and it was lovely to watch a friendship develop between them," she said.

"Despite the fact that they were given exactly the same direction they each delivered a unique interpretation of 'Annie'. They both put a little bit of themselves into the role and it resulted in two authentic and captivating performances.

"They are incredibly talented and I can't wait to see what the future holds for them."



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