REVIEW: Annie: the Musical, New Victoria Theatre, Woking

If you ever are in need of cheering up, then this new touring  production of Annie will certainly put a smile on your face and will certainly make you leave the theatre with a spring in your step.

Starring Craig Revel Horwood as the tyrannical Miss Hannigan, the show is filled with energy, enthusiasm and is endearing from beginning to end.

The plot follows little orphan Annie as she searches for her parents who left her at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage when she was a baby. But she is soon taken into the care of billionaire Mr Warbucks, who tries to help her in her search. But of course it doesn’t quite go to plan thanks to Miss Hannigan and her partners in crime: Rooster and Lily.

Filled with memorable songs such as ‘Easy Street’ , ‘Maybe’ and of course the iconic ‘Tomorrow’, the production has plenty of fantastic choreography created by Nick Winston that complements the songs and the story nicely.

But it is also down to the extraordinary performances of everybody involved that helps make the production work so well. The younger members of the cast performed ‘It’s the Hard Knock Life’ with such passion and accuracy, their voices filling the theatre with ease.

Madeleine Haynes as Annie gave an extremely confident performance, with her strong vocals and dancing talents. She showed great chemistry with all the adult cast – in particular with Daddy Warbucks (Alex Bourne), in which the warmth of the relationship between the two characters was really touching to watch.

Meanwhile, Craig Revel Horwood as the horrifying character Miss Hannigan provides a strong and hilarious performance that as much as you don’t want to like the character it becomes increasingly difficult not to. Staggering around the stage drinking gin, his memorable performance of ‘Little Girls’ is certainly a highlight of the show.

There is also strong support from Alex Bourne as the powerful but ultimately kind hearted Daddy Warbucks and Holly Dale Spencer as the charming Grace Farrell. Jonny Fines as Rooster and Djalenga Scott as Lily occasionally get a bit carried away with their parts but they add to the sense of fun and humour to the show.

It is a show that has plenty of action and fun for the children of the audience to keep up with, yet it doesn’t lack in heart and really captures the spirit of the original musical perfectly.

Even if you aren’t a big fan of Annie, you should pop along and see this production which is pretty much flawless thanks to the sharp delivery and high quality of the performances and the production as a whole.

Annie: The musical is performing at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking until Saturday. To find out where the tour will  be heading next visit here . 












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