In a world where terror threats are every which way it’s nice to know there are places you can escape from reality and the West End production of Annie makes you forget your troubles for 2 hours.
Director: Nikolai Foster
Writer: Thomas Meehan
Starring: Miranda Hart, Alex Bourne, Madeleine Hayes, Jonny Fines, Holly Dale Spencer
Theatre: Piccadilly Theatre, London
Running time: 2hrs and 20mins
‘The sun’ll come out tomorrow’ will definitely be ringing in your head after seeing the West End revival of Annie and it will leave you with a positive outlook on the rest of your day.
The musical, which is based on the book by Thomas Meehan, follows the story of an orphan girl named Annie (Madeleine Hayes) who does what she must to escape the orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan (Miranda Hart) and find her parents.
During the narrative, Annie is taken in by the rich and wealthy Daddy Warbucks (Alex Bourne) who grows to love the little, red-headed orphan.
However, Annie’s quest to find her true parents is still her priority and Warbucks takes it upon himself to try and reunite the orphan offering a reward.
Although she finally escapes the clutches of Miss Hannigan, the governess and her brother Rooster (Jonny Fines) try and scam Warbucks in order to get the money he was offering.
In all honesty when I heard Miranda Hart was to take on the role of Miss Hannigan I initially had doubts as she is known for her comedy.
However, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with her performance considering it was her West End debut. Her comedic abilities also helps keep the musical fresh and light-hearted.
In all honesty I was expecting her to be a bit more ruthless and evil but the show is aimed towards the younger generation of theatre-goers – with added comedy for the adults.
Of course, Madeleine’s performance as the titular character was well worthy of the praise it got from the standing ovation.
To go out on stage at such a young age and perform well-known classic musical theatre songs including ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘Hard Knock Life’ was truly amazing and I am certain this will not be the only time we see this young star on the stage.
One criticism is that Annie no longer has the big, bushey ginger hair but instead has a more Pippy Longstocking look to her.
Not sure why this was changed but maybe it’s just nostalgia but I prefer the afro-style.
I was surprised to see how many cast members were actually involved in this production. It is becoming more and more common for West End productions to have larger casts.
I remember only a few years ago, productions were being cut left, right and centre but it is pleasing to see young stars getting the chance to star in fantastic productions such as this one.
All the cast from the rest of the orphans to the servants at Warbucks house brought to life this iconic musical.
But my favourite cast member had to be the amazing performance by Amber… the labradoodle who played Annie’s stray dog Sandy.
I usually hate seeing animals on the stage but when Amber was in a musical number you could tell she was treated well with various cast members giving her treats as they moved around the stage.
With a simple set design which changed depending on the scene was used to its full advantage.
The show reminded me a lot of the West End adaptation of Matilda and not just because of the child actors but because of the simplistic set design and general feel to it.
To say that the West End revival of the well-known musical does not make you escape from reality is an understatement.
Everything the show has to offer will leave you smiling, clapping and humming to the fantastic songs.