Annie at the Liverpool Empire Review


Liverpool Empire

7-12 March 2016

Reviewed by Melanie Allen

An abundance of cute little girls with their hair in ringlets must mean we are in the right place. We are greeted by helpful staff and shown to our stall seats. Whilst we wait for the show to begin, the stage is set in the orphanage where Annie and her friends are sleeping.

We learn that Annie (Anya Evans) has been left on the door step by her parents as a baby, with a note saying that they loved her and they would come back for her. She still believes this and continues to escape to try and find her real mum and dad. The orphanage is run by Miss Hannigan (Lesley Joseph) who is a mean, evil, drunk. One day Annie is chosen by billionaire Daddy Warbucks (Alex Bourne) who was also an orphan, to spend Christmas with him. He is friends with the president and is very well thought of in America. He decides to adopt her but her dream is still to find her real parents. He puts up a $50,000 reward to find her parents, which makes greedy crooks crawl to the surface and try to con them into thinking they really are her parents (Jonny Fines and Djalenga Scott). But the scam fails, the crooks are caught (who just happen to be related to Miss Hannigan) and Daddy Warbucks and Annie live happily ever after.

Lesley Joseph as Miss Hannigan with Annie and orphans.
Photo credit Matt Crockett

The orphan girls in this play are a delight to listen to and watch. Tonight we were treated to Team Liberty (there are 3 teams of girls) and to say how young they are (the youngest is 7 – Andie Jordan who plays Molly) they are amazing. Their authentic American accents throughout the play were outstanding. It’s a shame that Lesley Joseph couldn’t learn a thing or two from these youngsters, as her accent was abysmal. She started off American and by her next line, she had turned Cockney! I also didn’t rate her amateur dancing and her singing wasn’t a patch on the rest of the crew. Alex Bourne was a natural.

Jonny Fines as ‘Rooster’, Lesley Joseph as ‘Miss Hannigan’
and Djalenga Scott as ‘Lily’.
Photo credit Paul Coltas

Annie was of course the star of the show, along with her dog Sandy (who was very well behaved, to say you should never work with children and animals). Her warbling sweet voice stole the show and sent shivers up my spine and brought tears to my eyes. Her version of ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘Maybe’ was the best I have ever heard. The rendition of ‘It’s a hard knock life’ was funny and entertaining. The whole show from the first to last minute was hugely heart-warming.

I would recommend going to see this and if you have children under 5, please realise that this show finishes at 10pm and most children under this age were carried out fast asleep.

Rating: 5/5 thumbs_up

Tickets cost from £10 to £48.50 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).

Annie the Musical is at the Liverpool Empire Theatre until 12 March 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 8713017.

Liverpool Empire Theatre, Lime Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 1JE | 0844 8713017


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