What’s On previews Annie The Musical at Madinat Theatre. The new show for the theatre in Dubai runs from April 2 to 17, with homegrown stars.

National Theatre
Michael McIntyre
Theatres in Dubai

With its most famous lyric being, “The sun’ll come out tomorrow”, Annie is a show that’s tailor-made for Dubai. The tale of a red-headed orphan first hit the stage in New York in 1977 and was later turned into a hit 1982 film. The musical comes to Dubai in April with two actresses playing the lead role: Jordan Watton, 14, and 11-year-old Nairne Hannah.

What inspired you to get into acting?
Jordan Watton (JW): I watched pantomimes as a young girl and I used to envy the children on stage – I wanted that to be me.
Nairne Hannah (NH): I watched performers on TV and stage and they looked like they were having so much fun.

Annie The Musical at Madinat Theatre

What are your rituals before going on stage?
JW: I warm my voice up by doing scales and exercises to help my breathing and articulation.
NH: I think about my script, my dancing and my singing. But mainly I enjoy the pre-show buzz with the other cast members. There is a real tingle backstage before we go in front of the audience.

Do you get pre-show nerves?
JW: The first few moments of the first show are always scary, but after that I love every minute of it.
NH: The scariest part is thinking that I might make a mistake just before the curtain goes up. But as soon as the show stars I relax and enjoy it.

Annie The Musical at Madinat Theatre

What do you think of the theatre scene in Dubai?
JW: When I moved here I was unsure if there would be any training academies or production companies. I have been pleasantly surprised by how many opportunities there are.

Any tips for hopeful performers?
NH: Listen to the people who are conducting the auditions and when it’s your turn, take a big breath and remember why you are there.

April 2 to 17
Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat, Dubai, daily 7.30pm, Fri and Sat 1pm and 3pm, Sat 5pm, Dhs200 to Dhs250. Tel: (04) 3666546. Taxi: Souk Madinat Jumeirah. madinattheatre.com