As Optimistic October kicks off, Annie seemed like the perfect way to kick off the week. And, of course, it’s been impossible not to walk through the rest of the week with ‘The sun will come out tomorrow’ repeating through my mind.
Annie tell the story of a young orphan who has been left at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Although this is a life of neglect and, at times, cruelty at the hands of Miss Hannigan – Annie has hope. Aside from the belief that her parents will return to collect her one day – she also manages to lead her fellow orphans in a low scale rebellion against their tyrant. Comedy ensues as the girls run rings around Miss Hannigan as she struggles to maintain control and her gin habit.
Annie’s luck really changes when she’s chosen to spend Christmas with famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. The wealth of Warbucks is not only contrasted with the orphanage, but 1930s New York during the Great Depression. We see this reflected not only by the homelessness evident on the streets of New York, but with the number of people who falsely claim to be Annie’s parents in return for a reward. Whilst this is decried as dishonesty, I felt it also reflected the hopelessness people felt at that time.
In this particularly staging, Ava Smith did a superb job as Annie who formed a great trio with Alex Bourne (Warbucks) and his assistant, Carolyn Maitland. Whilst the opening numbers in the orphanage – Hard Knock Life – may have been the more catchy, they were so loud that it was hard to make out the lyrics. I was disappointed that Katie wanted to leave after 10 minutes, not because she didn’t enjoy the story but because her ears hurt. The later songs, with fewer voices, were resultantly a lot more enjoyable and we could really settle back to just enjoy the production.
With a happy ending, great choreography throughout, and some wonderful company in the form of some fellow bloggers – it was a great start to the week and a cheeky wee treat on a school night!