Theatre review: Annie at Norwich Theatre Royal

Theatre review: Annie at Norwich Theatre Royal

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At Norwich Theatre Royal for one week only, Annie is here as part of the UK tour! Read on to find out what I thought of the show.

Annie UK tour press image

Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Her luck soon changes when she’s chosen to spend a fairytale Christmas with famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Meanwhile, spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search for her true family…

With its Tony® award-winning book and score, including the unforgettable songs It’s The Hard-Knock LifeEasy Street, I Don’t Need Anything But You and Tomorrow, you can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll love it!

Annie UK tour press image

Did we enjoy the show?

Unlike many people, I hadn’t actually seen any version of Annie before this show! I literally knew that she was an orphan with red hair and that the song ‘It’s The Hard-Knock Life‘ was in it. It’s nice to go into something with fresh eyes though, and not have a previous version or film to compare it to.

It was so nice to see the theatre so full for this performance, and full of a real variety of people. I went with John but there were families and young children there as well. I think Erin would have liked this one. An evening performance is a bit too late for her though, and that was the only reason I didn’t take her instead of John.

Set in New York during the 30s, Annie shows a real range of locations and people. From the dark and disgusting orphanage where the sheets are only cleaned once a month, to Times Square and Broadway to homeless people finding somewhere to sleep, Annie shows how different people lived during The Great Depression. There’s glia and glamour but also the reality for those who didn’t have money.

Craig Revel Horwood in Annie

The child actors, both Annie and the cast of orphans, are played by various actors. This means who you get depends on when you see the show. Our Annie was played by Sharangi Gnanavarathan and this tour is her stage debut! I have to say, she was absolutely amazing and nailed every single thing. Singing huge songs like Tomorrow, Sharangi Gnanavarathan absolutely shines as Annie!

Craig Revel Horwood is fantastic as Miss Hannigan. It’s quite funny hearing him put on a New York accent as his own slipped through quite a few times, creating a strange mix. Although not the nicest character, it’s hard not to like Miss Hannigan. Even though she doesn’t like the children and is a drunk, there’s just something about her.

A quick mention has to go to Sandy the dog, who was just wonderful. It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen anything with a real animal in it and Sandy was just adorable. You could see that he got so much fuss and treats while on stage and he looked to be having a great time!

Annie is a real feel good show. From the minute it starts, you want Annie to have a better life, as well as all of the girls in the orphanage. You root for the bad guys to get what they deserve and also for Annie to have her happy ending! This is a great show for the whole family and not to be missed!

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