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BrumHour saw Annie at the invite of Wolverhampton Grand.
By David Fox twitter.com/DavidFoxTheatre
Review: Annie at Wolverhampton Grand
⭐⭐⭐⭐Fun, energetic and heart-warming
Directed by Nikolai Foster, book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse
You have probably seen the 1980s film. You may have heard some of the songs. But you certainly won’t have seen a better version of this fantastic family-favourite musical!
It’s 1930s Great Depression-era America – and little orphan Annie leads a life of misery; an inmate of the cruel Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Annie’s life changes the day she meets billionaire Oliver ‘Daddy’ Warbucks who takes her under his wing. However, Miss Hannigan has other ideas and attempts to sabotage Annie’s new, luxurious life!
Annie is a hugely successful, Tony award-winning show, and full of brilliant, famous, catchy songs – It’s The Hard-Knock Life, Easy Street, I Don’t Need Anything But You and of course Tomorrow. You’ll be sure to be singing along by the end of it!
Annie has a fantastic ensemble cast and some incredibly talented child performers. In the performance I saw tonight, Sharangi Gnanavarathan shone as little orphan Annie, Alex Bourne was brilliant as Daddy Warbucks giving a warm and avuncular performance. For me, the standout star of the show was (of course) Craig Revel Horwood as Miss Hannigan. Camp, twisted, and at times very droll – it is a role he relishes playing. Who knew he could sing – he even showed off some of his dancing skills (It’s a ’10’ from me!)
Special mention for Amber the Labradoodle as Sandy – big cheers and ‘Ahhhhs’ whenever she appeared!
I love a good set design and Annie certainly had one! Bright and colourful with abstract maps of New York and jigsaw pieces, the set showed everything from run-down orphanage, to Hooverville, to an art-deco mansion.
Apart from the well-known songs my favourite part was the song NYC – a sight-seeing tour of New York, leading to a trip to a Broadway show – very much reminding me of South Pacific or 42nd Street with its tap dancing.
Overall, this production was fun, energetic, and certainly heart-warming! The overall message of Annie is joyful and optimistic – always look forward to Tomorrow! And the ending even brought a little bit of Christmas sparkle early in the year!
Annie comes highly recommended, and is the perfect show for families – especially at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre – one of my favourite Midland theatres! Annie‘ is now playing at Wolverhampton Grand until 14th October 2023. Discover what is coming up at Wolverhampton Grand here: grandtheatre.co.uk/whats-on.
(Please note, Craig Revel Horwood will not be performing on Saturday 14th October 2023, the role of Miss Hannigan will be played by Jodie Prenger on this day.)