Like director Nikolai Foster, I’d always had the impression that Annie was a sweet, gleeful film where unruly children ran about causing trouble and sang songs, contrived to make the audience who were children lovers ooh and aah as they gazed with tears in the eyes towards the little darlings on stage.
I confess, this was what I was expecting. I was wrong. This musical is entertaining, has depth and the talent that abounds in these young performers is nothing short of stupendous. To be able to perform as they did to hundreds of people in an audience at such a tender age is mind boggling. There is no doubt the children stole the show, with their clear direction, obvious team work and sheer exuberance.
One of my favourite tracks from the show had to be Hard Knock Life. The cast broke into this wonderful rendition with passion, the magic of youth and with voices powerful enough to fling you out of your shoes. I loved it. The goose-bumps on my arms attested to this. Even my husband, who is not easily swayed, said it had a power and joy that made him smile.
Miranda Hart took the part of Miss Hannigan on board with all the aplomb she’d known to have and made it a very entertaining experience. I don’t really watch Miranda Hart as a rule, so didn’t have much to compare her with as regards her performance in the West End (other than her hilarious performance in a certain movie with Melissa McCarthy). She was amazingly good, her dancing and singing skills fun to watch.
Madeline Hayes as Annie- what can I say. This young performer oozed charm and talent and was a delight to watch. I still marvel that such a powerful voice can come out of such a young soul.
Daddy Warbucks—well, let’s just say Alex Bourne was delightful and if I’d been a curly headed orphan in the 1930’s, I have wanted one too. Even now I have a yen for finding myself another one of him😊
My favourite character, though, in this whole performance, had to be Jonny Fines as Rooster. He enthralled me with his coarseness, his slyness, his eye for the main chance and bought this character to life for me in a way that although he was a rascal, he was endearing. He was shifty, street smart and a delight to watch.
The whole cast was tremendous; the choreography beyond reproach and overall the performance was something to behold. I’d certainly recommend this show to anyone who loves the Annie story and wants to see a professional, fun and foot tapping musical with a HUGE feel good factor.
Bravo to all who took part.
Review by Susan Mac Nicol.