Annie, The Hawth Theatre - review

Lesley Joseph as Miss Hannigan. Photo Credit Matt Crockett
Lesley Joseph as Miss Hannigan. Photo Credit Matt Crockett

We all need a little joy in our lives right now.

With what is going in the United Kingdom, Europe and further afield, we need need find something to put a smile on your face - because, obviously, your never fully dressed without one.

And bringing that little bit of joy to Crawley this week is the smash-hit production of Annie direct from London’s West End. This revival is on for one week at The Hawth and it's worth catching.

Starring Birds of a Feather’s Lesley Joseph as Miss Hannigan, Annie is set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, and brave young Annie (Ava Smith) is forced to live a life of misery at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage.

Her luck soon changes when she's chosen to spend a fairytale Christmas with famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks (Alex Bourne). Meanwhile, spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search for her true family.

Joseph, along with Richard Meek (Rooster) and Jenny Gayner (Lily), have great fun as the villains of the piece and show great comic timing while Bourne, Smith and Caroyln Maitland (Grace Farrell) put in very endearing performances.

But personally, the star of the show for me was the set. It was Matilda-inspired and was almost a character in itself and really came into it's own in the set-pieces for I Think I'm Going to Like It Here and, especially, N.Y.C.

I have only seen Annie once before and I had forgotten how funny it was (although I was the only one who seemed to find the Harpo Marx joke funny!).

The choreography was also first class - there was some classic tap-dancing, charleston and lindy hop but there were some nice modern touches as well.

And there's no denying the songs are catchy. Songs like It’s The Hard-Knock Life, Easy Street, and Tomorrow will be running around your head for hours after.

So if you want to forget about what's going on in the world and get fully dressed with a smile for two hours, Annie is the show for you.

Running time: 2hrs 5mins, including interval

Tickets: Tue-Thu: £46.50, Fri & Sat: £49.50.

Discounts (Tue-Thu): £6 off. Groups 6 or more: £7.50 off. Family of four £150

Family of four (Wed & Thu at 2.30pm): £146

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