Annie is a beloved family classic, I mean who hasn’t heard the tale of the young orphan hoping to find her parents? Set in the 1930’s New York during The Great Depression, life at the orphanage with Miss Hannigan is pretty miserable.
Her luck soon changes when she is chosen to spend two weeks of a fairy-tale Christmas with Mr (Oliver) Warbucks – the famous billionaire businessman and his kind-hearted assistant Grace Farrell. Meanwhile, Miss Hannigan and her evil accomplices have other ideas and hatch a plan to taint her search for her parents…
The score is full of musical classics and favourites such as Easy Street, It’s A Hard Knock Life, Tomorrow and Maybe – all of which are brilliantly performed by the cast, and it was great to see the audience enjoying the iconic tunes.
As for the cast, the young lady playing Annie and the fellow children in the cast were filled with energy, enthusiasm and passion – and it warmed your heart to see many potential stars of the future. Lesley Joseph shines as Miss Hannigan, and even whilst playing the mean-spirited orphanage owner she appeared to be having the best time in the role. Both duos of the warm-hearted Daddy Warbucks (Alex Bourne) and Grace Farrell (Carolyn Maitland), and the cunningly evil Rooster (Richard Meek) and Lily St Regis (Jenny Gaynor) equally share brilliant chemistry. Plus there’s a talented ensemble to boot too.
Despite being set in 1930’s New York, the set and production has quite a modern feel about it – and I think this works because it’s bringing this musical that has stood the test of time to appeal a new generation of young theatregoers. Which ultimately can only be a good thing.
Overall, whilst the plot is fairly simple – there’s no denying that it’s a must-see classic family musical. It’s the kind of show that anyone of any age can keep up with and enjoy. At it’s heart, it’s a story of hope and optimism. No matter what your situation, the reminder that the sun could come tomorrow is enough to make anyone smile. Forget your troubles for a while and join the fun by catching this show while you can.