Annie - Mayflower Review

There is nothing like going to see a classic musical in the theatre and you can bet your bottom dollar that Annie is one of those greats that never seems to lose its sparkle and charm. Gracing the Mayflower stage for a brilliant revival, Max and I couldn’t wait to head down Easy Street and flash back to 1930’s New York with this show-stopping musical.  

Based on the classic 1977 musical, Annie tells the tale of an 11 year old red headed orphan who spends each night longing for her parents to return for her after leaving her on the steps of an orphanage. Looked after by the drunk, uncaring Miss Hannigan who is only doing the job because ‘the government pays my rent and electric’, Annie and the other young girls in Hannigan’s care are set to work making clothes and cleaning the house so it shines like the top of the Chrysler Building. When a chance opportunity lands Annie in the care of billionaire Mr Warbucks, she is soon thrown into a world that she never expected to be in and on a journey that takes twists and turns down every street and avenue there may be. 

I was fortunate enough to see this revival in its first showing back in 2011 and back then it blew me away, but I somehow forgot just how magical and special it truly is. With a set that looks both modern and classic, you see a stage covered in jigsaw puzzles that feel like they represent the puzzle surrounding her life that Annie is trying to put together within the story. The choreography is so slick and stunning that it leaves you moving in your seat and entranced with what’s happening at the same time. Max and I were absolutely blown away with the N.Y.C song and dance with its tap dancing and constantly changing whilst Easy Street and Hard Knock Life are still songs that are full of energy and life that seems to spark off the stage. 

Hands down, the acting in this musical was off the chart fantastic. I wish I had time to talk about each and every person on that stage, but to keep this review easily digestible I firstly want to commend the ensemble cast for adapting to each and every character they played so well and making it look as though they had been working together for years. Their performances together were so seamless and stand out that you can’t help but feel in awe of them. 

Carolyn Maitland and Alex Bourne were brilliant as both Grace Farrell and Daddy Warbucks, both giving the loving and endearing performances that you expect of these two brilliant characters. Their mission to do whatever they can to bring a smile to Annie’s face, the audience were also grinning along with them by the end of the show. Their performances were truly charming and delightful. Craig Revell Horwood brought the despicable and drunk Miss Hannigan to life. Both hilarious and intimidating he truly embodied the character and was definitely a stand out performer for both of us! We had seen him take to the stage as Hannigan in our previous trip to see the show and he blew us away then and this showing was no different!

I have to give a massive hand to the brilliant young girls in Team Rockerfeller that took to the stage. The professionalism and their performances were second to none. For many of them, this was their professional debut and they honestly blew me away. They truly captivated the audience and I was drawn to them whenever they were on stage as they were full of so much energy. A special mention has to go to Honey-Rose Quinn who played the role of Molly who was a little ball of energy on stage. Definitely someone to watch as she’s going places! Finally, the leading lady. Freya Yates took to the stage as Annie and immediately won over everyone. We have seen her previously in School Of Rock and she blew us away then so knowing she was performing as Annie was brilliant. She took the role and made it her own completely, a true force to be reckoned with. 

For a show that is set in the 30’s you wouldn’t expect it to have much of a relevant story, but I can really see how they have adapted this classic tale and told it in a way that will appeal t modern audiences. With fantastic singing, brilliant choreography and a cast that will make you laugh, cheer and even shed a tear, you can bet your bottom dollar that Annie is a true hit and a perfect show for all the family. Annie is showing at the Mayflower until the 4th May and it's one not to be missed!

Tickets available for Annie here

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