Social Media

Annie - Nottingham Review

Ensuring you don't have to wait until tomorrow for the sun to shine Annie delights audiences once more on a UK and Ireland Tour. Nikolai Foster's production of the beloved musical plays to packed houses and provides feel-good entertainment by the bucket load.

The musical is set in New York during the Great Depression of the 1930s and centres on Oprhan Annie who is living miserably in Miss Hannigan's Orphanage and plotting to run away. Whilst on the run she picks up a stray dog, a lovely cameo appearance by one of three dogs who share to the role of Sandy, but ultimately she is caught by a police officer and returned to the orphanage.  

Craig Revel-Horwood (Miss Hannigan), Billie-Kay (Lily) and Paul French (Rooster). Photo by Paul Coltas.

Annie is then picked out to spend the Christmas period with billionaire Oliver Warbucks and Secretary Grace Farrell. She is whisked around from Broadway to luxury shopping trips in the lavish surroundings. Despite the connection Annie and Mr Warbucks share and his plans to adopt her, ultimately Annie asks for help to locate her parents. Mr Warbucks with the help of President Franklin D.  Roosevelt begins a search by offering a reward to the parents if they can prove themselves. In the meantime, Miss Hannigan's brother Rooster and sidekick Lily have returned and hatch a plot to identify as the parents and take the cash. 

Annie was played superbly by Poppy Cunningham on opening night in Nottingham, she has an adorable quality whilst also having a strong presence and delivering a great vocal performance. Alex Bourne blossoms as Oliver Warbucks and Amelia Adams' performance as Grace Farrell feels like being given a tight hug, she is endlessly charming and creates a key central relationship with Annie.

Craig Revel Horwood has a great time as Miss Hannigan, pitching the character perfectly, mixing the gin-swinging orphanage runner with superb vocals and dance. Paul French as Rooster and Billie-Kay relish their villainous characters and are deliciously unlikeable. The trio has a blast with one of the stand-out numbers of the performance 'Easy Street'.

Undoubtedly the show-stealing performances come from the team of youngsters playing the orphans alongside Poppy Cunningham's Annie. They are excellent, full of energy whilst never missing a beat and adding great vocals. Their section of 'You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile' at the top of act two is a euphoric dose of Serotonin. 

Photo by Paul Coltas
Director Foster navigates the piece well delivering a great pace and a light bright production. Nick Winston provides dazzling choreography which is performed by all with accomplished skill, while Colin Richmond's jigsaw piece set and costumes are effective in invoking the time period of the 1930s. Lighting by Ben Cracknell adds to the visual effect of the set and the characters.

Musically the first act contains the better songs with 'Maybe', 'Hard Knock Life' and 'Tomorrow' with Charles Strouse and Martin Harnin's score struggling to reach those heights as the second act goes on. An 8-piece orchestra including musical director Joshua Griffith makes a great sound and excels in playing the score.

Annie will continue to delight audiences with Foster's production being a crowd-pleaser for all ages. You leave the theatre with a big smile on your face and a song in your heart. A wonderful watch.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Annie continues at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall until Saturday 17th June with tickets available from The UK and Ireland is booking until Saturday 25th November 2023, full tour schedule and booking at

Photo by Paul Coltas

Post a Comment


Theme by STS