Annie - UK Tour 2023 Review

The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun. And if there isn't sun, there is sure to be laughs, singing, and brilliant performances by everyone involved in the 2023 tour of Annie the musical. Making the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton stage shine like the top of the Chrysler building this week, Annie has hit the Easy Street of Southampton as part of its UK tour. 

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 of 1930's New York. 

With a set that blends both modern and classic staging, you see a backdrop 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 whilst feasting your eyes on tap dancing, ballroom dancing, and brilliant ensemble choreography. Filled with iconic songs that every audience member will know, you are left with a smile

After the truly sad passing of the legendary Paul O'Grady, it was only fitting that the iconic Craig Revel Horwood step back into the shoes of Miss Hannigan. Craig brought the despicable and drunk Miss Hannigan to life. Both hilarious and intimidating he truly embodied the character and was definitely a stand out throughout the show. I've seen him take to the stage in the role several times, and each time I feel that he gets better and better (if that is even possible). 

Alex Bourne reprised his role as Daddy Warbucks, the billionaire that wins the heart of young Annie. His performance in the role is somewhat perfect and each time I've seen him in this character he shows the true loving and endearing side to Warbucks. Paul French took to the stage as Rooster and put on one of the most incredible performances I've seen in this show. The attitude, cockiness, and gangster persona was every bit as sleazy as it could be, whilst teamed with Billie Kay as Lily, they made the perfect Bonnie and Clyde-esque duo. 

Zoe Akinyosade commanded the stage as Annie, giving every but of emotion in the performance that she could muster. With the perfect blend of feisty and innocent, you could see a bright future for this young actress. In fact, all the young performers took to the stage with such professionalism and perfection that you almost forgot that they are as young as 7 years old. 

Annie the musical is everythign you could hope a musical about an orphan in the 1930's could be. It's filled with songs that you belt out in the car on the way home, dancing that you could only wish you could do yourself, and performances that leave you in awe of the talent on stage. You can bet your bottom dollar that this is a show that will bring a smile to the face of every audience member young and old. 

 Annie is running at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton until 29th April before continuing on a UK tour. For more info or tickets please click here: Annie UK Tour tickets

*Note tickets were kindly gifted in exchange for a review. 

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