REVIEW: ANNIE (New Victoria Woking) ★★★★
“THE SUN’LL COME OUT TOMORROW, BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR THAT TOMORROW, THERE’LL BE SUN” .
Sorry Annie, but you owe me some dollars. A rain drenched journey to and from Woking’s New Victoria Theatre did not dampen mine or this touring cast of Annie The Musical’s spirits.
Set in 1930s New York during the Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery at Miss Hannigan’s Orphanage. Her luck soon changes when she is chosen to spend a fairytale Christmas with the famous Billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, however spiteful Gin soaked Miss Hannigan has other ideas……
Direct from the West End this show does not disappoint. The choreography, lighting, set and cast all shine in this very slick production.
All the children delivered great performances and all the one liners that you are used to are delivered so impressively that you cannot help but still giggle even though you (if like me) have heard them hundreds of times before.
Freya Yates played Annie and her acting was seamless. She brought the right balance of innocence, tough girl, sensitivity and vulnerability that this character is known for.
Craig Revel Horwood plays a good Miss Hannigan however I would of liked to of seen a more “drunk” Miss Hannigan, like I have seen played by others in previous productions (enter Su Pollard). One minute he was tipsy then suddenly seemed to sober up miraculously before slipping back into tipsy mode. His singing is very impressive (who knew he had such good pipes) and of course his dancing on point. Unfortunately his “NEW YOIK” accent wasn’t very convincing, even sounding German in parts and it was actually quite hard to hear him at times.
Alex Bourne plays Daddy Warbucks and is effortless. A real presence of a man with a hard exterior at first but once this has been chipped away by Annie, he plays a generous caring role that makes your heart melt.
Carolyn Maitland playing Grace, Richard Meek playing Rooster, and Jenny Gayner all had impressive singing voices which complimented the ensemble who amongst them had some real power vocals.
“Easy Street” was a real crowd pleaser and the Orchestra do this score proud throughout. Classics like Hard Knock Life, Tomorrow and Maybe are all there and audience reaction only proved that these songs are still loved.
Special mention though goes to Amber. A five year old Labradoodle who plays Sandy the dog. With gasps of oos and ahhs, she really is a scene stealer.
This really is a warm revival of a smash hit musical and with this production and cast is a sure fire winner. Grab a tick TODAY, not TOMORROW, cos bet your bottom dollar you’ll have a fantastic time!
Reviewed by Bryan Doyle
Photo: Paul Coltas
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