Hannah lands lead in Sidmouth’s Ragged Child

Lee brings vulnerability and toughness to his role in Sidmouth Youth Theatre production

AFTER spending her summer in London with the National Youth Music Theatre performing in Sweeney Todd, Hannah Thompson returns to Sidmouth next month to take the lead in Sidmouth Youth Theatre’s production of The Ragged Child at the Manor Pavilion Theatre.

On from Tuesday, February 8 to Saturday, February 12, this play took the Edinburgh Fringe Festival by storm in 2008 when produced by the National Youth Music Theatre.

Hannah plays Annie Cooper, a street child struggling to survive on the London streets of 1849.

The earthy, unglamorous role involves a challenge for her acting skills, particularly in the second act when her life changes, and is a very different role to her last performance on the Manor stage where she played Dinah Lord in Sidmouth Musical Comedy Society’s production of High Society.

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The central character of The Ragged Child is Joe Cooper, Annie’s brother. He is played by Lee Clayden, a young actor plucked from the chorus in last years’ Blitz!

This is a huge role for one so young, but Lee brings a vulnerability and toughness to the role. As brother and sister they support and look out for each other in a world where starvation and destitution are a way of life.

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For director Angela Davies, this production brings back fond memories of a cast some 21 years ago who performed this play with a Sidmouth Youth Theatre in its infancy.

Many of that cast still live in Sidmouth and will return to see the show and the characters they portrayed brought to life by the present cast.

Mrs Davies said: “This musical play may be an unknown to many but the story is very real and full of high drama.

“It is portrayed by a predominantly young cast who are on stage for most of the time, recreating a life so far remote from their own privileged lives. None have ever felt the hunger and poverty of their characters.

“Come and share the work of this ever evolving company where young people have spent many long hours dedicated to rehearsals for your enjoyment.”

Tickets are �11 adults, �6 under 16’s and on sale at Sidmouth College between 1.30pm-2.30pm and The Tasty Baguette, Dove Lane, 9.00am to noon and 2.00pm-3.00pm.

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