29 September to 3 October 2015
Reviewed by Louise Turton
Great excitement abounded as myself and four year old travelled into Bradford see Annie the Musical, a firm favourite in the household alongside a small child’s great love of Strictly Come Dancing.
The Alhambra Theatre looks an impressive building from the outside and inside a most welcoming atmosphere greeted us. There is a restaurant on the top floor for a formal dining experience and on the middle floor a more casual café and bar. Before the show we had a quick bite to eat in the café and the food was both reasonably priced and delicious.
Annie tells the story of our favourite orphan. Set in 1930’s New York during the Great Depression, Annie lives with fellow orphans at the tyrannical Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. They live a life of misery and torment at the hands of Miss Hannigan, although Annie has a way of looking at the bright side of life as demonstrated by the show’s most famous song “Tomorrow” sung breathtakingly beautifully by Annie played so wonderfully and naturally by Madeleine Haynes, a true star in the making.
Annie’s luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the billionaire Oliver Warbucks mansion and a deep bond soon forms between the two, though Annie still dreams of the day her parents come back for her. Of course nothing ever runs smoothly, and Miss Hannigan, her evil brother, Rooster, played brilliantly by Jonny Fines, and his girlfriend hatch a devious plan to spoil Annie’s Happily Ever After. A real highlight of the show for me was these three characters performing “Easy Street”, absolutely fantastic-made me smile from start to finish.
Of course the big draw of this production is Craig Revel Horwood playing the part of Miss Hannigan, certainly a big reason to why we were so keen to watch the show, and yes he plays the part so convincingly that I really did forget who he was and that indeed even that he was a man playing a woman, but it is the whole ensemble cast that make this show so memorable. Everyone was truly fantastic and had me captivated throughout. The orphans were played by a young group of girls (on my evening Team Roxy) and their enthusiasm and professionalism was outstanding – a real credit to the show, a particular standout was Rosanna Beacock who played Molly. A big well done to all involved.
From start to finish the show was a delight, including familiar songs such as “Hard Knock Life” to “I Don’t Need Anything But You” to stage numbers I had previously unheard, I was captivated.
Perhaps to me though the biggest testament to how good a show it truly was, is that my four year old son was mesmerized from start to finish. In the words of Craig Revel Horwood himself “FAB-U-LOUS!”
Tickets cost from £21.50 to £43 (booking fees may apply).
Annie is at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford until 3 October 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 01274 432000.
The Alhambra Theatre, Morley Street, Bradford, BD7 1AJ | Box Office 01274 432000