Smash-hit West End production of Annie
There’s nothing like a good musical with toe tapping songs to warm the hearts on a cold November evening, and what better one to do the job than Annie.
The rags to riches story centres on the well loved and cheerful orphan Annie, who escapes the clutches of the gin swigging Miss Hannigan to try and find her real parents, and ends up being adopted by the billionaire Daddy Warbucks.
It is a charming tale, showing that you should never give up your dreams
Audiences at The Bristol Hippodrome were given a real treat with the superb cast.
The role of the drunk, child hating orphanage manager Miss Hannigan was played to perfection by Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel-Horwood. Revel-Horwood stepped into the role to replace the late Paul O’Grady, who was originally cast in the role.
From the moment her staggered drunkenly through the door into the orphanage dormitory he had the audience hooked, and almost every line he delivered emitted laughter.
In fact, watching him made me wonder how anyone else could ever play the role. He was quite simply perfect for it, from the witty one liners, to the energetic dancing, and not so subtle attempts to hit on any male that entered the orphanage.
He was a delight to watch, from start to finish and was, to coin one of his well know phrases, fab-u-lous!
Debut title role
One of the highlights of the show for me was his rendition of Easy Street, superbly supported by Paul French as Rooster and Billie-Kay as Lily.
The role of Annie is shared for this run by three young actors, and on opening night Sharangi Gnanavarathan rose to the occasion.
This young girl came out onto the stage with such confidence and ease that it is hard to believe this is her stage debut.
Her rendition of the most well know song from the show ‘The Sun’ll come out tomorrow’ showed a talent well beyond her years, and sent a chill down my spine.
Sharangi’s endless energy was infectious, and she perfectly suited the role of the lovable orphan.
For the song ‘It’s the Hard Knock Life’ she was supported by six very talented young actresses who make up the orphanage children.
These children, some as young as seven years, were amazing throughout the whole show.
In particular this scene was full of energy and fun, with the youngsters dancing with brooms and jumping off of beds. It made me wish I had a broom to bang on the floor and join in!
Alex Bourne did a brilliant job as Daddy Warbucks, showing the softer, more fun side to the billionaire, and Amelia Adams supported his scenes well as his PA Grace Farrell.
And finally, just a mention for the real ‘aaawwww’ factor of the show, which was Annie’s lovable dog Sandy, who was played by the cutest labradoodle Amber.
She absolutely stole the hearts of the audience during the scene where Annie tries to convince a policeman she is her dog and calls her over.
Annie is on at The Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday November 25, and anyone who goes to see it will be in for a real treat.
Limited tickets from £52 plus online booking fee left for Saturday matinee and evening, all other performances sold out - go to https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/annie/bristol-hippodrome/calendar/2023-11-22