by Margaret Harris

Margaret Harris - Annarees

BBC Radio 4: Saturday Afternoon Theatre

Broadcast: Saturday 25th November 1978

Since the death of her parents, 11-year-old Janie has been living with her Aunt Martha in the country. It's a snowy day as Janie, recently recovered from the flu, excitedly waits for Giles, a dear friend of her family, to return from the estate sale happening at the strange old house off the road. It was a large house where old Mrs. Carrington, an eccentric woman, lived alone until she finally died, aged 91. Stubborn until the end, Mrs. Carrington had never wanted a companion - human or animal - or even a helping hand.

Giles returns from the auction having purchased a number of items, one of them specially for Janie - an early Christmas present. He pulls out what looks like a dirty picture but as they clean the glass, they find that its not a picture but something children use to sew long ago - a sampler. On the bottom it says:

"So let us dance the live long day and sing to keep the dark away.

This completed by Annarees, 11 years.

December 27, 1823."

Loving the name and cherishing the sampler, Janie wishes she knew who Annarees was. Soon, Janie becomes obsessed thinking of Annarees - what it must have been like living in the time she did; what did she mean: '...to keep the dark away'. She would dream she saw Annarees singing and dancing from a time long ago, so Janie started to sing and dance to those same songs, too. Then one day, Janie is visited by the spirit of Annarees - a troubled Annarees - who asks for her help....

With Gail Lidstone [Janie], Jennifer Piercey [Martha Jordan, Janie's Aunt], Peter Wickham [Giles, a Friend of Janie's], Gina Bellman [Annarees, Aged 11], Alison Draper [Annarees, as a Young Woman], Eva Stuart [Mrs. Gilvray], Fred Bryant [Mr. Gilvray], Adam Godley [Paul Gilvray], and Danny Schiller [The Shopkeeper].

Directed by Kay Patrick .

60 minutes.


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