If you were a child in 1982 you’ll know all about wee Annie and the musical comedy drama film, based on a Broadway musical from 1977, and that was based on a cartoon strip.
Set in 1933 during the Great Depression, Annie lives in an orphanage run by tyrant Miss Hannigan played on weekdays by Craig Revel Horwood and Saturdays by Jodie Prenger.
Craig is probably a more fun version of Miss Hannigan, and you half expect him to dance across the stage at any moment… that comes later. He’s all legs in the air and subtle smiles.
Obviously the production is mostly kids, very talented kids with flawless vocals and bundles of energy. Annie on our night was played by Sharangi Gnanavarathan in her professional stage debut role. It’s not just kids, look out for the star, if you base it on the audience reaction, the adorable Labradoodle Sandy. Sandy is perfectly behaved, all she wants is treats from Annie’s pocket. Every time she appears on stage the audience fall in love a little more.
This is a feelgood family show with catchy memorable songs you sing along to in your head. It warms your heart that Daddy Warbucks, played by Alex Bourne, wants the best life for Annie and her orphanage friends.
You’ll leave the theatre humming along to It’s A Hard Knock Life and thinking about Annie, and maybe a little traumatised by seeing Miss Hannigan’s legs in the air, black pants on show, being pulled across the stage on top of a prop.
Smiles all round for this heart warming nostalgic musical theatre.
Annie is at Grand Opera House Belfast