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BrumHour saw Annie at the invite of The Alexandra.
For Brum Radio’s Interval Theatre, this week Billie-Kay chats about her role in Annie.
Review: Annie at The Alexandra
Directed by Nikolai Foster, book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin
Set in New York City in the 1930s, Annie (played by Zoe Akinyosade at this performance) tells the story of a young orphan at an orphanage run by Miss Hannigan (Craig Revel-Horwood), Annie will do anything to escape her life there, from hiding in laundry baskets to charming a billionaire’s assistant, Grace (Amelia Adams) into staying at the home of Oliver Warbucks (played at this performance by David Burrows) for the Christmas period.
Despite it being nearly 40 years since I first saw the film version of Annie, I’ve never seen the stage version and there were a few differences in the order the stage version plays out. Plus songs which were “new” to me N.Y.C. is replaced by Let’s go to the Movies in the film version. There are of course the well-known songs of Tomorrow, Maybe, It’s a Hard-Knock Life and You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile.
The stage is simple, with several moving parts to shift the action from the orphanage to the street to Warbucks home both smoothly and swiftly.
Craig Revel-Horwood is fantastic at Miss Hannigan, with a solid accent that wouldn’t look out of place in Bob’s Burgers (Set in the north-east USA) he doesn’t seem half as drunk as Carol Burnett in the film, and is much more sneaky. Zoe Akinyosade is great at this performance and shines as Annie manages Lily the dog as Sandy with ease. The chorus choreography gives the adults plenty to do as they set the tone for scenes but the child performers shine here easily.
The production explores themes of capitalism, loss and found families, though its broader message that poorer people are thieves and rich people and powerful are good looks a bit stale today. That said this has a wide appeal and though lots of younger children were there it isn’t just a children’s story.
At last night’s press performance, there was some missing dialogue at the end of the first half which caused a minor jump in the story. But the storytelling is strong enough to ensure you already know why things are happening.
Simply fantastic, Annie is at The Alexandra until 15th April 2023. Book tickets using BrumHour’s affiliate link >> HERE <<.