Set in New York City during The Great Depression, we find Annie having a tough time living at Miss Hannigan’s terribly run, horrendously grim orphanage. Desperately hoping her long lost parents will return and give her the family she longs for, luck brings billionaire Oliver Warbucks into Annie’s life. However it isn’t plain sailing for mismatched pair as the spiteful and self-serving Miss Hannigan sets out to ruin Annie’s newly found home and steal some of that fortune for herself.
It’s easy to forgot just how jam packed Annie is with hit songs. Easy Street, Tomorrow and You Are Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile are among the most famous. The young cast excel when performing together, and a particular highlight is their rendition of the iconic It’s The Hard Knock Life, complete with mops, buckets and a lot of gusto!
Lesley Joseph is fantastic as the terrifying yet hilariously pathetic Miss Hannigan. I could have watched an entire hour of Joseph alone playing the gin-guzzling monster.
This musical is great fun, with jokes for both adults and children. There are many cleverly comical 1930s references (Babe Ruth, Al Capone) which went over the kids heads but evoked chuckles from the parents. This show has something for everyone to laugh at.
Most of us know the story of the infectiously positive Annie or are at least familiar with the cheeky red-headed girl, yet even if you aren’t, this uplifting, vibrant musical will have your toes tapping all evening.
The live orchestra, superb staging and talented, all singing, all dancing cast come together to make this new production a sure fire hit and a great family night out.
Annie is showing at Congress Theatre, Eastbourne until Saturday 17th August.