Annie at The Hawth Crawley Review

22-26 October 2019


Reviewed by Sasha Nye

The Hawth in Crawley is easy to find and has a large amount of free car parking spaces. It is a modern venue with large auditoriums. There are plenty of toilets, a cafe, restaurant and a number of bars for reasonably priced refreshments. The staff are always very helpful and friendly. What’s great about The Hawth is that there are no restrictive view seats in my opinion. Wherever you get seated you will get a great view of the stage. I’m never disappointed when I visit The Hawth.

Annie is a 1982 American musical film based on the Broadway musical by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin and Thomas Meehan. The film stars Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Tim Curry, and Aileen Quinn as the title character. Set during the Great Depression of 1933 it tells the story of Annie, an orphan from New York, and her journey to find the parents who left her on the steps of the orphanage with just a note and half of a locket to her name.

Annie is probably one of the most memorable and iconic musicals of all time and much to the annoyance of everyone around me I burst into my own rendition of Tomorrow whenever Annie is mentioned. I was really looking forward to seeing Annie with my daughter and I can honestly say that I we were not disappointed. We loved it from start to finish. In fact, at the end of the night I was on my feet giving the cast a well-deserved standing ovation.

The show started off in the magnificent set of the orphanage where it was clear that the young ladies playing the orphans were extremely talented and their teamwork on some of the numbers looked effortless. As the story goes on, we are introduced to some of the main characters. Annie (Ava Smith), Daddy Warbucks (Alex Bourne), Grace Farrell (Carolyn Maitland), Miss Hannigan (Lesley Joseph), Rooster (Richard Meek) and Lily (Jenny Gayner).

Richard Meek (Rooster) and Jenny Gayner (Lily) looked comfortable in their roles as the villains, with the energetic and lively choreography and the authentic costumes they were truly entertaining. Lesley Joseph (Miss Hannigan) was outstanding, hilarious and truly shone in every scene that she was in.

During the show we were treated to some of the more iconic numbers such as Hard Knock Life, Maybe, Little Girls, Easy Street, You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile, and my personal favourite, Tomorrow.

The star of the show for me was Ava Smith who played Annie. Ava had true star quality, a star in the making. So much confidence and unbelievable stage presence for someone of her age, with incredible vocal talent on top.

Ava was also brilliant with the cutest member of the cast Amber (Sandy the Dog). Ava was incredibly calm, patient and handled her incredibly well.

In all honesty, I entered the theatre tired from a long day but I felt uplifted and left with a smile on my face. As the song goes “You’re never fully dressed without a smile “

A lively, entertaining and at times extremely funny production of an iconic musical by a very talented and professional cast. Leave your troubles at home and go and see Annie. You will truly enjoy yourselves and leave feeling uplifted with a smile on your face.

Rating: 5/5

Tickets cost from £46.50 to £49.50 (booking fees may apply).

Annie The Musical is at The Hawth in Crawley from 22-26 October 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit or call the box office on 01293 553636.

The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley, Sussex, RH10 6YZ | 01293 553636

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