Acclaimed British comedian, actor and writer Meera Syal hitting the West End production of Annie. Meera joins the Company to play the leading adult role of Miss Hannigan, previously played by Craig Revel Horwood and Miranda Hart….writes Richa Grover, Asian Lite’s Theatre/Musicals Reviewer
Actor Meera syal has taken control of the orphanage. Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery and torment at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Meanwhile, spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search for her true family…
The West End production of Annie is directed by Nikolai Foster, has book by Thomas Meehan adapted from the comic strip Little Orphan Annie, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin. This production has sets and costumes designed by Colin Richmond, choreography by Nick Winston, lighting by Ben Cracknell, sound design by Richard Brooker and orchestration and musical direction by George Dyer.
The West End Company of Annie also includesAlex Bourne as Daddy Warbucks, Holly Dale Spencer as Grace Farrell, Jonny Fines as Rooster and Kate Somerset How as Lily. The title role of Annie is shared by Madeleine Haynes, 14-years old from Hadley Wood, Barnet, Lola Moxom, 12-years old from Rochester, Kent and Ruby Stokes, 13-years old from Hampshire.
They are joined by three teams of young performers who play the girls in Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Amber, a 4 year-old Labradoodle, plays Annie’s dog Sandy. Completing the adult company areRussell Wilcox, Bobby Delaney, Keisha Atwell, Sophie Ayers, Melanie Cripps, Nic Gibney, Patrick Harper, Ben Harrold,George Ioannides, Megan Louch, Benjamin Mundy, Marios Nicolaides, Ben Oliver,Heather Scott-Martin, Anne Smith, Katie Warsop and Amy West.
Foster’s production arrived in the West End 40 years after the original Broadway production opened in 1977 and received seven Tony awards including the Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. The last West End production of Annie opened at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 1998. In 1982, Annie was adapted for the big screen directed by John Huston with a cast including Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters and Albert Finney and in 2014 a further feature film was released, directed by Will Gluck, with a cast including Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx. The much-loved score includes the classics It’s A Hard Knock Life, Tomorrow and Easy Street.
Asian lite verdict by Richa Grover: Meera Syal outdoes herself with her flawless acting and plays her part so very convincingly making it highly entertaining, poignant and brilliant.
The lighting, music-songs and singing, overall acting by the star cast , the way the scenes organically flow seamlessly, dialogue delivery, the confidence and stellar talent displayed by all the children, the time period accurate superb set, the comic timing, the socio-politico- cultural backdrop representation, among many other winning and slick details make this is a show you just wouldn’t want to miss! The production has zest, zeal, zing, vigour and all the ingredients of must watch musical. Highly recommended! All 5 stars!
Theatre: Piccadilly Theatre, 16 Denman St, Soho, London W1D 7DY
Dates: Booking to 18 February 2018
Performances: Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7.30pm, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm