Ipswich: Annika celebrates a Hollywood singing legend

Ipswich singer Annika Rands

Ipswich singer Annika Rands - Credit: Archant

The wonderful world of Doris Day

Ipswich singer Annika Rands

Ipswich singer Annika Rands - Credit: Archant

Professional singer Annika Rands is taking a new direction.

Annika, who performs in cabaret, stage shows and musicals, has devised her own solo show - as a tribute to American singing legend Doris Day.

Doris Day, now into her 90s, was the biggest star of her era, on stage, film and television.

She was nominated for an Oscar (Academy Award), for Best Actress for her starring performance in Pillow Talk.

Her first big hit was Sentimental Journey in 1945 and she had hits for more than 20 years.

She went on to make 39 films and 31 albums. Her films included Move Over Darling, The Pajama Game and Calamity Jane.

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Her hits records ranged from Que Sera, Sera to Secret Love, and I’ll Never Stop Loving You to Bewitched.

Ipswich singer Annika usually spends her time singing at a variety of events and venues across East Anglia and beyond, from seaside summer shows to cabaret and weddings to night clubs.

But now she has been busy studying the songs and films of Doris Day - YouTube has been a great help - for her new solo show A Tribute to Doris Day.

She has been rehearsing dozens of classic songs.

Former Copleston schoolgirl Annika has returned to her home town after a career that has taken all round the world performing on cruise ships.

Annika said: “She was wonderful.

“The biggest female star of her time. I wanted to produce a show that told her story, and included her hits. No-one else is doing it so I think it can be really popular and successful.

“There are so many amazing songs and people can find out a bit more about here life.

Annika is planning to launch her new show with two performances at the Holiday Inn Ipswich Orwell, Ipswich on Septembr 14 and 15, prior to taking bookings through the winter and spring seasons.

“I think it will be really popular in seaside theatres during the summer,” she said, “including matinees for an older audience.”

As a teenager in Ipswich Annika took additional drama at Northgate arts centre, had singing lessons with singing coach Barbara Windsor and performed with Stagecoach.

“I also did amateur shows with the Appeal Theatre Group at the Wolsey,” she said.

She went on to drama school, Rose Bruford Performing Arts, where she took American Theatre Studies - acting, singing and dancing.

“The second year I moved out to Austin, Texas. It was amazing. It was just like Glee and American Pie.

“I had only been there four days when I auditioned for Hair, only three from the 15 of my course were selected. I got into the singing club and was in all the shows.”

She loves musical theatre; musicals like Les Miserables, Wicked and Miss Saigon.

Since graduation she has worked in many areas, including cruise cabaret work for P & O and Thomson.

And she was in a Abba tribute act that performed on Royal Carribean cruise ships.

“Yes, I was Agnetha. Cruise work is fun and you really are a celebrity on board.”

On a summer show last year, around the country, the Doris Day idea came to her. “People would come to me and say, you are like a young Doris Day.

“So I thought, why not? I began researching her music and films. The more I found out, the better idea it seemed to be.

“I have been busy in rehearsals for my launch nights.”

Mum Julie has been a great support in her plans, she said. Mum is providing the hair styles and her aunt Denise has been helping make the costumes for the Doris Day Show.

And Julie wil be selling tickets for the launch nights, in her Ipswich hair salon, Quintessence Hair Studio in Woodbridge Road telephone 01473 725381.