top of page

A colourful spectacle of delicious songs, dance and delightful ‘Little Girls’!

The all-time favourite hit musical Annie plays the MK Theatre this week. Based on the Thomas Meehan’s book, with music by Charles Strouse and Lyrics by Martin Charnin, the original Broadway production opened in 1977 and ran for nearly six years.

A winner of seven Tony Awards it was later released as a film in 1982 with a star-studded cast – Albert Finney, Tim Curry, Bernadette Peters and Aileen Quinn.

It's New York in the 1930s Depression, Annie a spirited young orphan lives an unhappy life in the dreadful orphanage run by the unscrupulous and drunk Miss Hannigan. Determined to find her parents who she believes will always come back for her, she escapes the orphanage on a venture to find them. Eventually she is found by the police and returned to Miss Hannigan. However, Annie’s fortunes look as though they may take a turn for the better when she is offered the chance to spend Christmas at the mansion of billionaire Oliver Warbucks.

A reluctant Warbucks, who thinks ‘all boys are orphans’, warms to Annie’s endearing personality, but things get complicated as a jealous Hannigan does what she can to prevent a good outcome for Annie.

The show stars Craig Revel Horwood - Miss Hannigan (Strictly Come dancing), with Harlie Barthram – Annie, Alex Bourne - Daddy Warbucks, Amelia Adams - Grace Farrell, Paul French - Rooster, and Billie Kay - Lilly).

Set in a dormitory, the show explodes into the first of the major songs ‘A Hard Knock Life,’ with the hugely animated little girls of the orphanage, whose enthusiasm and dynamism had me in goose bumps from the onset. From then on, the audience is fed with one magical number after another.

There is so much that brings this production to life. The set dramatically contrasts between America’s Depression to the Glitz and Glamour of the rich, embellished with evocative lighting, great costumes, wonderful music, and astounding choreography that treats us to a feast of Tap, Charleston, Foxtrot, Jive and American Smooth.

It wasn’t individual performances that made the show, (although I do have to give a shout out to Alex Bourne’s honest and warm rendition of Daddy Warbucks), it was the whole ensemble and the wonderful orphans that produced the spectacle, energy, and excitement with the big show numbers. Oh, and I can’t forget Sandy (Amber the dog), who got plenty of aw’s from the audience. I’d like to have seen more interaction with the dog, but that’s because I am a sucker for animals, and who am I to know how hard it is for an animal to play to such a large audience!

My main disappointment was the sound, the music was rather loud, so song lyrics were hard to hear, and a lack of diction meant I lost a huge amount of dialogue. However, having said that, I did really enjoy the show, and you can too as it is playing until Saturday 12th August.

Review By: Shahnaz (Shiny) Hussain


bottom of page