The much-loved musical Annie is back at the Regent, in Hanley for it’s 2019 tour.
Having first opened on Broadway nearly 43 years ago, Annie is the age-old story of a little girl living in an orphanage with her friends and having by all accounts a ‘hard knock life’.
Annie is set in the 1930’s great Depression, a time of great political uncertainty and extreme poverty. Despite it being set ninety years ago the events still resonate in today’s society and ones the audience can relate to.
The set is made up of jigsaw puzzles representing the missing pieces of Annies life as she tries to discover where her real parents have gone in this rather heart-breaking story. The show opens with the iconic orphanage room scene where the young girls are nestled in their beds but then are soon awakened and we are all treated to the songs Maybe and Hard Knock Life. What is notable is how talented the girls are and their timing was impeccable.
Playing Miss Hannigan is the always wonderful Lesley Joseph as the bully manager of the orphanage who neglects the girls and has them working in a hot shop making clothes. Alongside her is Alex Bourne as Daddy Warbucks who rescues Annie from her poor world and shows her what life can be like, meanwhile Annie does the same by showing him what a life with love can be like. The two actors perform brilliantly together.
Annie is played by three actresses and in this play it was Mia Lakha’s turn. She is a little girl with a big voice and belts out the classics such as Tomorrow – which will still be stuck in your head the morning after.
One of the most notable actors of the show was of course Sandy the dog played by Labradoodle Amber who has previously starred in Legally blonde and a Shakespeare production. Without a doubt Sandy was a favourite part and Amber showed complete professionalism in each scene whilst munching her treats.
The finale was met with a standing ovation and came with a seal of approval from not just me but my daughter who having seen both films was very impressed with this version.
Annie is a show that appeals to both adults and children alike and seems to be the show that keeps on giving amongst the emergence of new musicals.
Review by Mel Osbourne.
Annie is at The Regent until Saturday 23 November. For tickets go to www.atgtickets.com/stoke or telephone 0844 871 7649.