Back in June 2012, Orbit Theatre put on a production of the musical Annie at Cardiff’s New Theatre. At the time, I hadn’t seen the production before, let alone the film – having spent many years avoiding it. However, I took my three young children to this show and we all found ourselves totally enthralled with the show, so much so my eldest boy wrote his own glowing review of it when he got home!
Since 2012, my daughter also featured in the supporting role of Duffy in Centrestage Cymru’s excellent production at the Dolman Theatre, Newport and I have also witnessed Strictly judge Craig Revel-Horwood as Miss Hannigan in a touring version which played Wales Millennium Centre.
However, its back to the beginning of my Annie experience here for my review of Orbit Theatre’s production from 2012…
“Did you hear Annie on the radio?” yells an orphan. “Yes, I heard her” shouts nasty Miss Hannigan, proprietor of the orphanage Annie used to reside, “they’ll be making a musical of her next!”
Miss Hannigan’s quip gets a huge laugh from the attentive audience as the Orbit Theatre’s production of that very musical plays at Cardiff New Theatre this week. Attentive is no exaggeration, I took my three young children along to see the feel-good musical on Tuesday evening and they were instantly drawn into Annie’s rags to riches tale,
The Orbit Theatre’s presentation of Annie ticks all the right boxes. The production features a strong ensemble cast led by 16 young female singer / dancers (complete with frizzy hair and freckles) whose tight rendition of Hard Knock Life complete with mops and buckets immediately capture the imagination.
Emily Hermon delights as plucky orphan Annie, holding the audience attention with her rendition of Tomorrow. Emily gets strong support from Phil Bond’s hearty Oliver Warbucks and the fabulous Lois Banks as Warbucks assistant, the dependable Grace Farrell.
Linda Coombes adds a touch of comedy to orphanage owner Miss Hannigan while her teaming with Dan Parker as dodgy con-artist Rooster and Jennifer Brock as his floozy Lily St Regis on the song Easy Street is a joy to witness.
Featuring dancing chambermaids, fabulous 1930s stylised sets and a familiar music soundtrack, Annie is a treat for the whole family shouldn’t be missed this half-term.
- Flashback Friday is compiled and written by Andy Howells