A review of The King Edward VI School’s performance of ‘Annie’ 2022, by Mr P Cusworth

Little orphan Annie exploded onto the stage last night in a glorious riot of singing, dancing, music and joy which lit up the night sky to the moon and beyond. After a three year enforced absence musical theatre returned to King Edward’s with a stellar cast and the coolest hottest band this side of Pasadena driving this foot stomping, breathtaking spectacular.

Annie and the orphans opened the first half with “Maybe”, a touching, poignant ballad, leading into “Hard Knock”, with razor sharp choreography interrupted by deranged, dragon-hearted Miss Hannigan terrorising the orphans. From the heart melting chemistry between Annie and her stray dog Sandy in “Tomorrow” to the blind optimism of the Hoover-ites in “Hooverville” if ever we needed sheer escapism from a world teetering on the brink, it’s got to be now.

“Hot cocoa and ginger snaps waiting for you down by the recreation room” – who cares we don’t got no recreation room we can all dream Mr Warbucks is going to whisk us away and make everything alright. “NYC” featuring Warbucks himself along with Grace and Annie charmed and enchanted in an almost unbearably cute song and dance number. But in a stratospheric first half packed wall to wall with highlights it was Rooster, Lily and Miss Hannigan who stole the show with “Easy Street”. Precision timing oozing charisma and comic characterisation. “Next thing they’ll make a musical out of her” declares Miss Hannigan. Maybe they will Miss Hannigan but on tonight’s showing they’ll surely be making a musical about you!

Bert Healy continued the second half with the close harmonies of the Boylan sisters advertising “Oxydent toothpaste” in “You’re never fully dressed without a smile”, reprised by the orphans. For sheer glamour and sparkle and showbiz razzmatazz it doesn’t get any better than this. But something above all else was the sheer heart warming beauty of this story brought to life by this young, very talented and unbelievably hard working company. “Just thinking about tomorrow blows away the cobwebs and the sorrow”. As someone once said, “Tomorrow will be a good day”.