'Annie' is one of those shows that most people probably know something about if only because it's an old story, it was a very successful film and it has some famous songs that are regularly covered. It is, however, a story I don't know because I've never seen the show or the film. I do know the famous songs, though. The reason I went to see it was really to see Meera Syal who took over the role of Miss Hannigan last year. Meera is an excellent actress and comedian so I wanted to see her song and dance steps.
We all know the story of 11 year old Annie in the orphanage run by Miss Hannigan during the depression. Oliver Warbucks, one of the richest men in the world, wants an orphan for Christmas and Annie is chosen by his secretary. She charms him and he wants to adopt her but, first, she wants to find her real parents. Hannigan's crooked brother turns up with a scheme to pretend to be Annie's father to swindle Warlocks out of money but the plot fails, the Hannigans get their comeuppance and all ends well for Annie, Daddy Warlocks and, it seems, his secretary.
The show is, of course, liberally sprinkled with song and dance numbers by the stompy, energetic orphans leaping around the stage, by the down and outs of Hooverville, the dancers from the big screen film Annie sees and the staff of Warbucks' Mansion. I couldn't help feeling that not all of these musical interludes helped take the show forward or were strictly necessary but, on the other hand, what's not to like?
And Meera? She gave a solid, professional performance and yes, she can both sing and dance. She has a very good singing voice and should do more. She also does good drunk. Well done Meera, it was great fun to see you, just such a shame those pesky kids got in the way of your gin consumption!