24-29 August 2015
Reviewed by Lee-Anne McCarthy
I spent many a childhood morning before school watching Annie on VHS. I remember marking the movie in the Christmas TV guide for many a year. So being asked to review the newest UK tour was very exciting. To then read the wonderful Miss Hannigan was to be played by a man hmmmmmmm made me both intrigued and excited.
Annie tells the story of the orphan child living in the hardest impoverished period in American history. But despite the adversity of her situation orphan Annie remains hopeful of the return of her parents. Alongside this you meet one of the continued successes of the time Oliver Warbucks. A businessman who is driven and successful but alone. Annie is about both these characters finding a relationship with real meaning, real love and real hope.
Craig Revel Horwood known only to me for being a hard faced, tough talking sometimes darn right mean judge from Strictly was amazing. I knew this man of dance had talent and I see now why he holds competitors on television to such high standards. He exuded these standards himself with every female pose, gesture and movement mastered. But who knew he could sing? And so well. His classic Hannigan attire was definitely something I’ll remember for a long time. He was a fantastic addition to the cast and encapsulated the hard, unloving, drunken, imposing personality of Miss Hannigan so well.
The young orphan cast was awe inspiring. To have such young people perform with such zeal and professionalism really captivated me. Together the young orphans boomed out the well-known sounds of the show in such a way it was all I could do to stop myself from singing along to the classics like hard knock life.
Annie was played by Madeleine Hayes and while playing Annie she was everything I wanted even knew Annie to be. Hayes Annie was funny, she was lovable almost enchanting to all on stage and most definitely in the audience. Alongside Hayes Alex Bourne played a superb Daddy Warbucks. He exuded that clumsy inexperience of children in early scenes and as Daddy Warbucks fell in love with Annie so did I. I really rooted for the growing relationship between them and that is tribute to the chemistry and charisma of Hayes and Bourne.
The entire production has been considered and thoughtfully planned. From the broken puzzle pieces of the set to the fantastically choreographed numbers like Easy Street every intricate detail of this show has been carefully considered to truly represent the story while wholly engaging the audience.
This fantastic display of talent has real appeal to all ages and all sexes. I would really recommend a visit to the Millennium Centre to enjoy this musical delight. Don’t forget a tissue for the weepy moments I know I was caught out.
At What’s Good To Do we give Annie a fantastic 5 out of 5.
Tickets cost from £18 to £51 (booking fees may apply).
Annie is at the Wales Millennium Centre until 29 August 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 029 2063 6464.
Wales Millennium Centre, Bute Place, Cardiff Bay, CF10 5AL | 029 2063 6464