Set in 1930s New York, Annie is a musical story that focuses on the typical plot line of a baddie, a fairy godmother and a knight in shining armour who saves the day, and this production ticked all those boxes.
There are 3 different actors playing Annie at The Regent. The youngster playing Annie this time was Mia Lakha who was fantastic. The story goes, Annie is forced to live a life of misery and torment at the orphanage of Miss Hannigan (Lesley Joseph). Determined to find her real parents, her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks (Alex Bourne). The spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search but good triumphs over evil in this hit musical which has delighted audiences for almost 40 years.
Filled to the brim with iconic songs, including 'Hard Knock Life' and 'Tomorrow', it'd be very difficult to sit in the auditorium and NOT crack a smile.
Joseph leads the company in a sublime piece of casting, as Miss Hannigan - a distinctly trunchbull-esque role, she harnesses the essence of the character and brings her to life as though taking the character from the page. Coupled with her with incredible comic timing and a brilliant dry humour, the audience love her from the moment she bursts through the dormitory doors.
There is an age old unwritten rule that says not to work with kids or animals. Unfortunately, in a show based around an 11 year old girl with a dog, that would hamper the telling of the story somewhat. Fortunately, the 5 or 6 young leads on stage this evening (Team Chrysler) proved conclusively why we should be so incredibly proud of the future of our British theatre.
Leading 'Team Chrysler', Mia Lakha gave an exceptional performance as the red-headed Annie. Confident from the get-go, she showed bags of charisma and star quality with a note perfect rendition of 'Tomorrow'.
There's something about walking into a theatre – whether it’s The Regent or a decked out west end venue - that makes it an experience like no other and you always hope that experience is capped by the performance wowing you. Last night, my expectations were not only met but exceeded with a cast who are a credit to the production and one that bring this tale to life with a flair that sets them apart from so many of their contemporaries.
This production of Annie is, without doubt, a fantastic, well staged and polished interpretation which is well worth going to see. You are guaranteed to leave the theatre with a beaming smile on your face.
You can see Annie at The Regent Theatre in Hanley until Saturday 23rd November 2019