If you have tickets for this production at the Bristol Hippodrome (or elsewhere on the tour) you are in for a treat – if you don't have tickets I suggest you buy some quickly!
We all know the story of orphaned Annie. One moment living a life of misery in a New York orphanage under the drunken eye of Miss Hannigan, the next, swept to 5th Avenue opulence when she's invited to stay with billionaire Oliver Warbucks for Christmas. Peppered with memorable songs "It's A Hard Knock Life", 'Tomorrow', 'Easy Street” this revival is a must see.
This is an impressive production which showcases the talents of Freya Yates as Annie. She confidently takes the leading role with her orphan gang – in this performance every one of the orphans (Team Rockefeller) delivered a spirited and humorous performances. Annie handles Sandy (with cleverly choreographed use of dog treats) and her superb singing and acting capture not only the heart of Mr Warbucks (Alex Bourne), but the whole audience.
A draw for many will be Anita Dobson – still a household name from her role in EastEnders some 30 years ago - as Miss Hannigan. At 69 her performance was surprising and a delight. She creates a comedic caricature as the orphanage owner that we all know (and love). A great voice and a good mover too!
Every ensemble piece is brilliantly choreographed (Nick Winston) to make dance a star of this show too; complex, high energy routines throughout bring every scene to life. Notably - Annie's arrival scene at Warbucks' house and in 'NYC' as Warbucks, Annie and Miss Farrell (Carolyn Maitland commands her superb voice in this role) walk through New York streets which is alive with New Yorkers, yellow cab drivers, and tap-dancing sailors.
Although this not a sing-along production you do get the chance to join a reprise of 'Tomorrow' at the curtain call. It's a show that will have you smiling, toe tapping and no doubt singing the songs all the way home. A great family evening out.