WORTH A LOOK?: ****
WHERE: Piccadilly Theatre
WHEN: 18/9, booking to 18/2/18
What a difference a star cast change makes.
- Read on for reasons including why Craig Revel Horwood is a better Miss Hannigan than Miranda Hart
We caught Miranda Hart towards the end of her run as the baddie in this beloved musical and it was a curious performance. She threw herself gamely into the dancing but her singing was poor and she seemed to struggle with the acting required to play a man-hungry alcoholic who runs a New York orphanage in a Depression-hit 1933.
Last night was the first for Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood in the role, although he had already completed a regional tour in this production, and he fit as neatly back into the part as a bottle of gin in Miss Hannigan’s fridge.
We’ve wanted to see Revel Horwood in something for a while but haven’t wanted to travel too far out of London for his pantomime performances. His Miss Hannigan is part panto dame but also part Wicked Witch and, while we were expecting tremendous dancing, we had no idea how good his singing would be.
He ran absolute riot with the production and his number Easy Street, with Miss Hannigan’s brother and his girlfriend as they plot Annie’s demise, is now the clear highlight of the show.
Annie is the story of the titular orphan who goes to stay with billionaire Daddy Warbucks who becomes enchanted with her and launches a search to find her missing parents.
Much like Aladdin, which has been running for a while in the West End, it has a Christmas element which means it works well as a pantomime, should you be thinking of booking one.
Although Annie is booking to February, Revel Horwood is only currently due to star in it for 10 weeks and doesn’t play either show on Saturday because of his Strictly commitments.
He’s a 10 in this, darling, and well worth catching.