With only eight weeks left to Christmas, some people are already dreaming of Christmas trees, mulled wine and mince pies! (OK, I am!)
Therefore, I was very excited to review what some consider a Christmas classic, Annie, (given it is set around the festive period) this week.
The hit musical Annie, direct from London’s West End, is at Belfast’s Grand Opera House all this week and stars none other than Birds of a Feather’s Lesley Joseph as the tyrannical Miss Hannigan!
Many will know the classic songs from the show including”It’s the Hard-Knock Life” and “Tomorrow“, but if you’re unfamiliar with the story line, the production is set in 1930s New York where young orphan Annie is forced to live a life of misery at an orphanage.
Her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas with famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks who helps her search for her true family while also questioning what is important to him in life. What unfolds is a heartwarming story of love, sadness, expectation, hope and Christmas spirit!
Lesley Joseph is fantastic as the cruel, authoritarian Mrs Hannigan, who sings about hating little girls (a fitting job then!) while drowning her sorrows in alcohol), while the child actors playing all the youngsters in the orphanage were fantastic. Such powerful voices, particularly young Mia Lakha who played Annie on the opening night. She was just brilliant!
An extra special mention to Amber the dog who was Sandy and received “awhhhs” and cheers every time she appeared on stage!
I loved Annie and the standing ovation at the end showed that the audience certainly did too! It was great to see so many young people in the crowd, enjoying this family favourite.
Annie is on at the Grand Opera House until Saturday 2nd November.
Disclaimer: these were gifted press tickets in exchange for an honest review.