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November 2003
Annie's at the Alex
Reviewed by Clive Fuller, website user
'Annie' the musical
'Annie' the musical
This latest touring version of the much loved musical 'Annie' sadly now coming to the end of its run, reunites many of the cast members from the 2002 touring edition and is a hit from the opening of Act 1.
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Annie is showing at the Alexandra Theatre until 15th November 2003.

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The children from the Betty Fox Stage School enjoy every minute of the show and are a sparkling group and are very popular.

The music is lively, well orchestrated filling the entire theatre with all the much-loved numbers much to the pleasure of the capacity audience.

Director Chris Colby gets from his cast a wonderful team effort with the bonus of excellent central performances. His production is never too sentimental.

The choreography by David Kort is 'spot on' making the production numbers big and the individual performances tight.

A New York setting

The staging itself is bright, well decorated and captures nicely the opulence of New York society and the squalor and poverty of the orphanage.

Both the lighting and sound create at times an almost magical picture, which left the audience ecstatic and unable to stop applauding. It is a long time since I have heard such great applause but it is well deserved.

Annie
Orphan Annie

A talented orphan

At last night's performance talented Lucy Barker played the orphaned Annie with considerable stage presence and she has a strong singing voice too, which made her performance of 'Tomorrow' memorable.


A fabulous cast

The ever-popular Su Pollard plays the dreadful Miss Hannigan with great flare and her drunken behaviour is most amusing as are the frightening scenes, which are handled in just the right way to get the maximum reaction from the children in the audience.

Su's hairstyle and costumes are somewhat zany bringing individuality to the role. She is excellent in the production number 'Easy Street' after which you know a sticky end is sure to happen!

Miss Hannigan
Miss Hannigan

Mark Wynter is impressive as Daddy Warbucks giving a powerful and also at times sensitive performance. He was excellent in 'NYC', 'Something was Missing' and 'I Don't Need Anything But You' using his strong singing voice to great affect and confirming once more that he is one of our finest of stage musical performers.

The role of Grace Farrell, Daddy Warbucks secretary is played with both charm and sophistication by Louise English. Her costumes and particularly that for the ballroom sequence were beautiful.

Matthew Hewitt as Rooster Hannigan and Amanda Sims as Lily St Regis are both well cast as the villains of the show and their performance of 'Easy Street' with Su Pollard was the highlight of Act 1.

Christopher Marlowe is impressive in the character part of F.D.R. Both of the dogs in the show get plenty of reaction from the audience with a high 'aah' factor.

Overall this is a top class production of 'Annie' and it is not surprising that it has broken box office records during its 2003 tour.

Clive Fuller.

When and where

You can see Annie at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham until Saturday 15th November 2003.

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