review: Annie

Annie is one of my favourite childhood musicals. I was pleased to take my four year old daughter to see Annie at Bristol Hippodrome last night. Directed by Nikolai Foster this adaptation is grittier than previous performances I’ve seen. I think this is good because this tale of a girl raised by an  abusive alcoholic in an orphanage, during the big depression in America, should be gritty.

The main set is made of jigsaw pieces, a metaphor for Annie putting together the pieces of her life, which light up to create a real West End feel to this touring show.

In the title roles I saw Sophia Pettit as Annie, she was wonderful, portraying perfectly the tragedy of her situation and the buoyancy of her character. She has a lovely voice which carried some of the best known songs from Annie, Tomorrow and and Maybe, perfectly. Alex Bourne was perfect as Daddy Warbucks, without overdoing the lonely billionaire, and he and Pettit had a very believable sweet relationship. Strictly’s Craig Revel Horwood played Miss Hannigan, without overdoing the drag aspect, which worked reasonably well.

I enjoyed Jonny Fines as Rooster, he played this over the top character perfectly, and his scenes with Djalenga Scott, as Lily, and Craig Revel Horwood were my favourite parts of the show. I particularly enjoyed Easy Street for its brashy choreography and vocals.

Overall I enjoyed Annie, however I didn’t love it. It felt a little disjointed, for example we’re introduced to Sandy the dog briefly but never again, which felt a little like a dog for the sake of crowd pleasing. The show didn’t pull me in completely and whilst I could appreciate that it was a well directed show with an excellent cast it wasn’t my favourite adaptation of Annie.

Annie is at The Bristol Hippodrome until Sep 5th. Tickets, and more information are available on the Annie Tour website.