I was lucky enough to attend the opening night of Annie at the Liverpool Empire last night with one of my twins aged 4. Since my three girls watched the ‘New” Annie just before Christmas they have been belting out the tunes at any opportunity so I was excited to take them to see the musical. Happily the three girls chose themselves which one of them would like it best so chaos and allegations of favouritism were avoided.
From the first five minutes my four year old was singing along to the hits ‘Maybe’ and ‘Hard Knocks Life’ both songs that made it into the new Annie and well known by the four year old. Hopefully those around us weren’t too upset by this addition to the song being belted out on stage. I say belted out, I should really have said brilliantly belted out. Team Liberty was on stage on opening night, with Annie played by Anya Evans, and she was incredible. Her confidence and ability shone through and there didn’t appear to be any opening night nerves from any of the cast – even Sandy the gorgeous Labradoodle.
If you’ve somehow managed never to see Annie before, the basic premise is that Annie was left on the doorstep of the New York orphanage run by Miss Hannigan (Lesley Joseph) with a note promising her that her parents would return to collect her with the other half of her locket. Chosen to spend two weeks over Christmas with the ludicrously rich Daddy Warbucks, Annie charms him into wanting to adopt her and make his life complete.
The stage musical (unlike the film) is punchy and rattles along. There are no unnecessary scenes (apart from possibly the board table scene involving Roosevelt) and the show moves from one excellent set piece to another with seamless links.
The young dancers put in a brilliant performance and left my four year old determined to be on stage. The show finishes at 9.50 making it a very late night for a little tot, but it kept her (and me) completely excited and engaged from beginning to end.
The show is on in Liverpool until Saturday and then continues its National Tour. Get booking those tickets I can assure you you’ll have a fantastic time!