Monday 7th to Saturday 12th October 2019
Leapin' lizards! The musical Annie was sensational at the Sunderland Empire last night. Based on the original 1920s comic strip, Little Orphan Annie, this show is heart-warming, dripping with charm and packed full of catchy songs.
Lesley Joseph, best known for playing Dorien Green (the neighbour from hell) in Birds of a Feather took centre stage as the whistle-blowing, gin-swilling Miss Hannigan. What she lacks in physical stature she makes up for in her over-the-top, slapstick performance.
Annie was played by Mia Lakha and as soon as she opened her mouth to sing "Maybe" you know she has been perfectly cast as the main character. This girl can sing. She commanded the stage and effortlessly brought the character of Annie to life.
Other standout performances were Jenny Gayner as Lily St. Regis - the dumb blonde, lipstick-wearing girlfriend of Rooster Hannigan. She is an incredible dancer and oozed just the right amount of sleazy sex appeal. Carolyn Maitland did a sterling job as Mr Warbucks personal secretary Grace Farrell, and Alex Bourne portrayal of the seemingly cold-hearted, capitalist billionaire Mr Warbucks was perfect for the show.
The fast-paced dance routines were incredible and credit has to be given to the energy and commitment to the ensemble.
The young orphans also did a fine job, especially with the number “It’s The Hard Knock Life.” The young girl playing Molly was adorable.
I also have to give a mention to Amber the Labradoodle who, to be fair, did steal the show.
Annie is as kid-friendly as a stage show can get. The perfect choice for a great night out for all the family.
Tickets for the show are available from www.atgtickets.com/shows/annie/sunderland-empire