It’s the classic tale that’s enchanted the hearts of youngsters and adults alike. Now, Annie has escaped the bright lights of New York for a week at Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre.
Ever since the original film was released in 1982, Annie has gone on to become one of the most iconic films, inspiring generations of young children and their parents who spent their days watching the family favourite.
And if you’re scratching your head, wondering if the high-anticipated stage adaptation does the movie justice, then I’m pleased to tell you that you won’t be disappointed.
Annie the Musical, which has shared success in London’s West End, is a sheer delight to watch from beginning to end. Not only is it true to the original story, which follows the journey of the adorable 11-year-old Annie, but it allows you to become immersed in her life like never before.
It’s bright, energetic and great fun – the perfect recipe to create a show that is guaranteed to please families.
There’s something about this production that makes it impossible not to love it. Whether you’re a fan of the movie or not, Annie the Musical is filled with theatrical treats that make it the gift that just keeps on giving.
Taking on the role of such a lovable character is no easy task, but Ava Smith made a sensational job of stepping into the shoes of the red-headed orphan.
The power in her voice is something that should really be praised, as she delivers s slick and joyful performance with absolute ease. Her solos are enough to earn her high praise; team her with the adult cast and ‘The Kids’ and you’ve got something really special.
You’d never expect such young performers to put on such an incredible performance, but there’s no doubt in my mind that these girls went above and beyond expectations to steal the show, especially during the iconic It’s a Hard Knock Life.
It’s hard to put into words just how incredible Anita Dobson is as Mrs Hannigan. She’s sharing the role with Strictly Scrooge, Craig Revel Horwood, but if you’re lucky enough to catch her as the alcoholic orphanage owner then you’re in for a treat.
While many will know Dobson for her role in Eastenders, her skills as an actress are given the chance to shine like never before in this production.
Miss Hannigan is the character that we all love to hate, and it’s thanks to Anita’s performance that Miss Hannigan became one of my favourite parts of the show.
The supporting cast too is just as super. Alex Bourne did an incredible job as the billionaire Daddy Warbucks, while Carolyn Maitland makes a delightful Grace Farrell.
Beyond the cast, Annie is a visual feast with slick set changes and clever lighting to heavily reflect the mood of the storyline. The production team has clearly worked incredibly hard to do Annie justice, and it pays off in every shape and form.
And when it comes to the music, there are plenty of toe-tapping delights that you’ll be humming away as you leave the theatre Fully Dressed with a Smile.
*Disclaimer // I was invited by Wolverhampton Grand Theatre I did not pay for my tickets but was asked to write a review in exchange. All views are my own.