Reviewed by Nicola Gallop
Annie the musical opens with the well-known President Roosevelt’s speech around the Great Depression of the 1930s. The setting of the stage is a design of missing jigsaw puzzles pieces a clear metaphor of Annie’s life and her journey of trying to piece together her life in New York City.
The opening act begins with a crying orphan in the middle of the night, Annie player by Freya Yates really sets the scene of the much-loved classic film coming to the rescue of Molly and breaking into the most wonderful performance of the song Maybe, a truly brilliant start to the show.
It soon becomes clear that the orphans live a depressive life when Miss Hannigan, a mean alcoholic, played magnificently by Craig Revel Horwood, makes a grand entrance with bottle in hand demanding the children get of bed and clean as the girls run rings around Miss Hannigan, Annie and the girls outstandingly perform one of the most renowned songs ‘ It’s a Hard Knock Life’.
The stage quickly changed setting to the streets of New York as Annie decides to run away and find her parents, lost and alone the show really brings to life the reality of the Great Depression meeting with the poorest and resentful people of New York Streets the stunning stage settings of this time really takes you back to that time. Annie soon makes a friend of the beautiful dog Sandy so very well, played by Amber, a five-year-old Labradoodle.
Annie’s life takes an abrupt turn when taken back to the orphanage by New York Policeman, wonderfully acted by Gary Davis. Annie’s life again takes a quick turn when Grace Farrell , played by Carolyn Maitland, arrives at the orphanage wanting to give a little girl a Christmas Holiday with Mr Warbucks. Grace falls instantly for Annie’s charm and whisks her away for a better life.
Alex Bourne truly plays Daddy Warbucks superbly doing all he can to make Annie’s life the best it could be with all house staff giving a wonderful show of 1930s dancing and entertainment.
There are many twists and turns in Annie’s young life and this show truly brings it to life, my children were engrossed fully in the show with many laugh out loud moments and heart-warming renditions of the songs we all remember from our childhood. A highly recommended performance for all the family… It really is a must see!!!
Tickets cost from £22.50 to £49.50 (booking fees may apply).
Annie is at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton from 30 April to 4 May 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.mayflower.org.uk or call the box office on 02380 711811.
Mayflower Theatre, Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1GE | 02380 711811