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24 September 2014
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Theatre, Dance and Comedy

Ruth Madoc as Miss Hannigan
Ruth Madoc as Miss Hannigan

Annie

Mark Justin-Ford
With a witty script and a memorable score including It’s A Hard Knock Life and the legendary Tomorrow, Annie bounced it’s way onto the Lowry stage, and this 30th birthday rendition is full of life and thoroughly enjoyable.

Annie

For those of you that don’t know, this touching story of a red-haired little girl begins in a New York orphanage, run by the gin-soaked Miss Hannigan. Annie is chosen by Grace Farrell, secretary to millionaire Oliver Warbucks, to spend Christmas at the Warbucks mansion, and a loving friendship begins.

Annie is desperate to find her real parents so Warbucks begins a nationwide search, offering a reward. Hannigan’s ruthless brother, Rooster, and his equally scheming girlfriend, Lily St Regis, hatch a plan with Hannigan to claim Annie as theirs.

Louise English as Grace Farrell
Louise English as Grace Farrell

The undoubted star of this production is, oddly enough, not Miss Hannigan, played by the inimitable Ruth Madoc or Stacey Hunt’s Annie. Despite all Madoc’s experience, she constantly appeared to be giving stage direction to her fellow cast members who, had they been left alone, would have been able to have enjoyed themselves and given a far better performance.

No, the real star of the show was in fact Louise English, who gave a performance as Grace Farrell that was unfazed by the sound problems and the late scene movements, which seemed to put off the rest of the cast.

Sadly though, those sound problems did mean that Annie and the other orphans were not audible and the audience only got understand what they where saying when adults responded to their words.

This isn’t the strongest production of Annie you’ll see, but there’s enough to original songs and script to keep it being an entertaining proposition all the same.

last updated: 30/08/06
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