My favourite film of all time is Annie, the 1982 edition which is one of the first things people really learn about my personal life… I will never get enough of that film no matter how many times I watch it or how many times I listen to the soundtrack.
One item on my bucket list was to go and see Annie perfomed professionally live on stage in London and so for my 18th Birthday I asked for tickets to go and see the show, starring Miranda Hart as Miss Hannigan.
Well on the 27th July, my mother and I left our local coach station at 7:15 and caught a coach heading to London. I’ll talk more about this in another post later this week but in this post I am going to exclusively talk about the show.
This show really is fun for the family, and the cast is fantastic… every single member of that show is incredibly talented and though many of the cheers and laughs were aimed at Miranda Hart (she came on stage for the first time and got a ten second round of applause at least) everybody had funny moments. Everybody got some time to show off how talented they were and to demonstrate their singing or dancing skills or both.
Now the singing and dancing… the dancing was choreographed perfectly, I found myself scanning the dancers for any obvious hiccups and rarely found any, there was definitely none that anybody just watching would pick up on. The singing. Every time somebody new opened their mouth to sing I felt my body clench up slightly, waiting for something that didn’t sound perfect but as soon as they started I got to relax and was immediately singing the songs in my head along with them. It’s impossible not to sing along to the songs and those that had not featured on the films such as N.Y.C and Hooverville had me singing along though I didn’t know the lyrics nearly as well.
Of course all eyes were on the main cast members playing Annie and Oliver Warbucks and Ruby Stokes and Alex Bourne performed wonderfully. Both of them gave outstanding performances and it was a pleasure to hear the songs sang on stage by such talented actors.
I’m a huge softie and so the when Amber, the dog playing Sandy, came out on stage for the first time with Annie my heart just broke. I used to watch Annie with my dog Dexter who passed away 3 years ago and so the film is very sentimental for me and seeing that dog on stage… yes I did cry and yes I was glad that it was pretty dark in there so no one could see me.
There wasn’t as much of Sandy in the show as there was in the film but that was mainly due to logistical reasons and because the dog would become unresponsive, distracted and possibly stressed if left on stage for too long… and the chance of her completing what the cast needed would decrease significantly if she was on stage for too long. All the same the dog was well-behaved and obviously well trained and performed every scene she was in well!
My one negative about the show wasn’t actually about the show itself… personally there were too many kids there for me, which was to be expected, but all the same I wish that their guardians would keep better control of them – stop them from leaning forwards in their seats, standing up and talking… it’s a darn expensive experience to go and see one of these shows professionally in London so it’s not great when kids are there just kind of altering the experience negatively. I understand that everyone has the chance to see this and that it is for families after all but all the same.
I spoke to my mum and the pair of us agreed that there should be a separate section for children and parents, it would make it much better for those that don’t have kids and don’t want some 4 ft 7 year old standing up because they ‘can’t see’. We get it, you can’t see because your short af, but I’m short af too and if you lean forward I can’t see, meaning I would have to lean forward and then the person behind me wouldn’t be able to see… you get my reasoning here?
Anyway, apart from the children the whole experience was amazing, the show itself was phenomenal and made me fall in love more with the musical.
In my own personal opinion the show was more than worth the money and I’d happily pay it again to watch the show. If you get the chance I would highly advise booking tickets to see the show at Piccadilly Theatre this year, especially while Miranda Hart is playing Miss Hannigan. She is just as funny on stage as she is on television! Do I think she was amazing at singing, not as good as those others trained on the stage with her but she still performed well and too a standard that in no way diminished the show.
To read more about the show click here.