“How do you fancy going to The Liverpool Empire to review Annie the Musical” said Karen as we panted our way down the Wirral Way one morning. Annie, The Musical?!
If I’d have had the strength I honestly think I might have bitten her hand off! I am on the mailing list for ATG and knew that this was coming up; I had considered taking the girls to see this but, given that the dates weren’t close enough to a birthday or other special occasion in the end I reigned myself in; plumped for the panto (which is always absolutely amazing) and dropped some heavy hints to Mr L about The Nutcracker.
The Empire is super easy for us to get to on the bus and you don’t need to worry about the tunnel toll or parking or having a wine so, we packed a picnic, grabbed the top deck window seats and I was treated to the latest school gossip…. There was a breaktime wedding- WHAT; there was an actual kiss on the lips! There was meant to be two ceremonies but Hannah disclosed earnestly that there had been a run away groom. Hopefully my face was suitably shocked.
Arriving in town slightly early we popped into the new Lush Liverpool for a browse; there is far too much for me to tell you on this so I’ll save it for a different post but suffice to say we’ll be back- soon!
Outside the theatre was a buzz with little girls and the excitement was palpable. If my two are anything to go by, Craig Revel Horwood starring as Ms Hannigan is a BIG plus. 10/10 excited.
The set had a similar feel to that of Matilda with jigsaw cut outs and key words- the ‘orphans’ took to the stage and settled down to sleep just as the performance began and we were transported direct to New York City Orphanage for the brilliant opener; Maybe.
Whenever I do things with our girls half of my pleasure is derived from watching through their eyes and, though I wasn’t able to take pictures during the performance I will always remember the sight of the pair of them, heads cupped in their hands leaning on the empty seat in front as they watched the performance in awe. When Craig performed ‘Little Girls’, Bethan turned to me and whispered; half of me wants to clap because it’s Craig and that was brilliant but the other half just can’t because she’s a nasty baddy! Good Job Ms Hannigan!
Taziva-Faye Katsande was our Annie for the evening and she was excellent, all of the cast were and, though Craig Revel Horwood might have been the initial attraction he was more than matched by the ensemble. At times I found the New York drawl laid on a little heavy but I loved the way that the cast doubled up as the horses when Annie and Mr Warbucks took a carriage ride and the set remained simple relying on the imagination of the audience to put the meat on the bones. Daddy Warbucks was my absolute fave and, based on the programme I can see why. This is Alex Bournes third spell in Annie. Clearly I’m not the only one who feels he is a natural billionaire father figure! 😊 Sandy, Annie’s stray doesn’t feature too heavily in the production but Amber, a gorgeous Labradoodle definitely wins the cuteness award any time he scampers on stage!
The feel of the production stayed true to the original film with the positive messages of ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile.’ And, when Annie finds her forever family with Daddy Warbucks and Grace it felt like the whole audience was beaming.
Starting at 7.30 and running until 9.40pm, a week night show might not be the best idea if your littlies are used to being tucked up in bed by that time but; in our view-it was well worth the late night and the slightly sleepy morning for a magical evenings entertainment. My girls stood and clapped until their hands were sore and we lingered by the stage door until Mr L arrived in the hope of meeting Craig. They didn’t want the enjoyment to end and, watching through their eyes, neither did I.
Annie is on at The Liverpool Empire until Saturday 29th June and tickets are still available on line or by calling 0844 871 3017.