Yes, many of the Dutch Annies and orphans were older than the US girls. The orphans ranged from 6 to 15 and the Annies from 10 to 14- with Cheyenne being the youngest Annie. She was 10 when the tour started.
The Dutch producers were much more lenient regarding the girls ages than the US producers. There were no height or weight checks for the girls during the tour and none of the girls were sacked if they developed too much. You'll see from the audition videos that some of the older girls already had a visible bust and they were still cast.
The girl who played Pepper wasn't really a girl. She was 20 and she performed with all of the groups, doing eight shows a week, like the rest of the adult cast. She was also in the ensemble and understudied Annie, playing the role twice during the tour. Can you imagine a 20-year-old playing Annie in the US, even as an understudy?
When the 2005/6 tour ended, it was extended for 6 months at Efteling Theatre. Then, many girls did leave the show, including the four eldest of the 10 Annies (Stephanie V, Neeltje, Sharon and Jennifer), all of the July's and all but one of the Duffy's. They weren't sacked for being too old, though. It was a joint decision made by them and their parents and the producers. Many of the older girls wanted to and were ready to leave and moved on to other professional work.
The production team were much nicer and fairer to the girls than the US producers. Just look at the videos on YouTube of all the shows in which a girl was performing for the last time. It was announced to the audience and she was given a proper send off.
There was none of the 2am faxes saying 'You're done' and no 'You're too tall/old/fat/developed' like the women on Life After Tomorrow describe, none at all. It was all very amicable.
Posted on Jul 14, 2008, 1:22 PM from IP address 184.108.40.206