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Annie at The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

Published by: Yvonne Delahaye on 7th Feb 2011 | View all blogs by Yvonne Delahaye

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ANNIE

The heart-warming rags-to-riches musical tells the endearing tale of plucky little orphan Annie’s fun-filled quest to find her real parents and foil the dastardly plans of Miss Hannigan and her evil brother Rooster.
 First seen on stage in 1976, the show really does deserve its reputation as one of the best loved family musicals of all time! Winner of no less than 9 Tony awards Annie boasts some of Broadway’s most memorable score including It’s A Hard Knock Life, Easy Street and of course the legendary Tomorrow.

The title role of Annie was played by Victoria Sian Lewis and I was amazed at the confidence and maturity shown by this young girl.  She has a belting singing voice and seemed very at home performing in front of 1200 people!  I’m sure this will be the career path she will chose.

The wicked Miss Hannigan is energetically played by Su Pollard, who makes the part completely her own and squeezes every possible laugh with her comedy antics.  Best known as the loveable chalet maid Peggy in Hi de Hi, Su has a career that has spanned 30 years, covering theatre, TV, cabaret and voice-overs.  Su also has a strong singing voice and an album that reached no 2 in the UK charts!

The warm-hearted zillionaire businessman, Oliver Warbucks, is beautifully played by David McAlister, whose life is transformed by the arrival of the candid Annie.  David also has a 30 year career in TV, film, stage and voice-overs.  He was a member of BBC radio drama company and has appeared in The Bill, Eastenders, Emmerdale, Crossroads, Doctors and was nominated for a British Soap award as Best Villain in Hollyoaks.

Simone Craddock plays the elegant Grace Farrell, the loyal secretary to Oliver, who eventually wins his heart.

Philip Andrew is the dishonest Rooster who with his girlfriend Lily (Sophie McEwan) and his sister Miss Hannigan, hatch a plan to deceive Oliver and claim to be Annie’s long-lost parents.  The ensemble cast of Joe Connors, Nikki French, Gareth Heesom, Georgina Todd, Audrey Leybourne, Alim Jayda, Ross Furlong, Ashley Knight, Rob McVeigh, Caroline Andrew, Michael Cortez, Emma Tilly and Kerry George all ably support the leading actors and help to make this a slick and entertaining show.

Special mention has to go to Danny the Dog who plays Sandy.  In his eighth tour of Annie, Danny steals the scenes he’s in and was so good I wondered which drama school he’d attended!  Suzy the Dog also makes an appearance as Mutt and is in her fourth tour of the show!

Annie is a delightful theatrical experience for the whole family which will leave you feeling uplifted and singing ‘Tomorrow’ for days to come!

Annie is on tour 8th-15th February at Playhouse, Edinburgh; 15th-19th February The Dome, Doncaster and 15th-19th March at Empire, Liverpool.

For details of the current programme at the Waterside, visit www.ambassadortickets.com/aylesbury  
Box Office:   0844 871 7607)

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