I’ve been so excited to see this show…The West End production of Annie is in Hull this week and I had a chance to go see the performance last night at Hull New Theatre (HNT).
I took along my 6 year old for a mummy-daughter date and we both thoroughly enjoyed it 😊.
Here’s why the production is not to be missed!
It’s a fabulous performance and I was so impressed with the junior cast as they were fantastic. The dancing and choreography was truly amazing and I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish. There were laughs, excitement, and such a burst of energy up on stage.
We were Team Chrysler last night and they were the best 😀. There are 3 different teams performing as the children in the Orphanage, the other 2 teams are Team Empire State and Team Rockefeller and I’m sure they’ll be equally as fabulous.
The girls’ singing, acting, and dancing were just so impressive. They opened up the show in Miss Hannigan’s Orphanage and belted out the famous ‘Hard Knock Life’ which exceeded my expectations in every way; I wasn’t prepared for how good the children were going to be. My favourite, little ‘Molly’ (played by Orla McDonagh) was fantastic; she had such a fun character and seemed to perform with ease – as did the rest of the children! On the opening night, Annie was played by Tasha-Faye Katsande and she was fantastic. This wasn’t a surprise to me, however, as I noticed on the program she had already performed in the West End production of ‘Matilda’. She was clear, confident and had a great voice.
The set was simple but very effective with its use of props. The production set the scene well, starting in the orphanage and then moving onto the streets of New York. The set accurately depicted when times were difficult in New York, with unemployment rising as the closing of factories across the city became the norm. The show as a whole was so professionally put together and performed.
My daughter and I previously saw Anita Dobson at HNT in the production of Cinderella and I loved her performance, so I was looking forward to seeing her again in Annie. She brought Miss Hannigan’s character to life; a drunken misfit in charge of an orphanage who hated little girls – Annie most of all. I personally loved how she put her heart and soul into how much she loathed the kids with her solo ‘little girls’, it was such a laugh! Miss Hannigan’s character gave a lot of laughs throughout and Anita’s dancing was just brilliant. I was in awe how effortlessly she performed – after all, she is a pro!
Daddy Warbucks, played by Alex Bourne, is a self made billionaire. Wanting to give back to the community he, along with his secretary Grace Farrell (Carolyn Maitland), arranges for an orphan to stay with them for 2 weeks over Christmas to enjoy the delights life and money have to offer. Annie is the lucky little girl and Mr Warbucks quickly becomes smitten with Annie and her positive outlook on life. He and Grace decide to adopt Annie only to find her heart is set on finding her biological parents who left her with a promise they would come back for her. Wanting what is best for Annie, Mr Warbucks spares no expense when trying to trace her parents. This attracts all sorts of people wanting to get in on the cash at the expense of Annie’s wish for her forever family. Thankfully Annie has Mr Warbucks to look out for her.
The songs were brilliant, everyone felt nostalgic listening the the classics and couldn’t help but sing along. Musical numbers included ‘Tomorrow’ which was sang beautifully by Tasha-Faye and then the rest of us at the end! Others were ‘I Think I’m Gonna Like it Here’, ‘You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile’ and ‘Easy Street’ were among my favourites.
The story played out really well on stage. I was worried that my daughter would lose interest as she hasn’t seen the film. Whilst she didn’t seem to follow the whole story without explanation, she was still thoroughly entertained by the singing and dancing. She thought the kids were amazing and she loved seeing Sandy the dog running around on stage in a few of the scenes.
After seeing this performance it’s reminded me how awesome the story and films are and I will definitely be introducing it to my kids. I’m sure it will quickly become one of our regular watches when chillin’ on the sofa 😊.
Annie is running until Saturday 6th April at Hull New Theatre, make sure you don’t miss out!