Review: Annie: The Musical, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 24 April 2023

Review: Annie: The Musical, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 24 April 2023

By Catherine Collins

When Annie: The Musical opened at Mayflower Theatre last night – I was immediately transported back in time to one of my favourite childhood films of the 80s.

The show begins with the set of an orphanage dormitory in New York in the 1930s – during The Great Depression – with children tossing and turning in their beds.

We meet Annie, who is forced to live a life of misery and torment at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage, whilst determined to find her real parents.

Her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, but spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s happiness.

Craig Revel-Horwood is cast as Miss Hannigan after the sudden sad demise of Paul O’Grady, and he is superb in a role that feels like it could have been written for him.

Nine-year-old Zoe Akinyosade gives an outstanding performance as Annie – she was pitch perfect, sassy and mesmerising in her portrayal – definitely one to watch for the future.

The choreography is this production is impressive, and each one of the cast and ensemble deserve special mention, especially the children – who never put a foot wrong.

They are an extremely talented bunch – some as young as six – who are set to go far.

And, of course, the show wouldn’t be complete without Sandy the dog (played by one of three Golden Retrievers, we had Darcy for our show – not pictured), who certainly seemed feel at home on the stage – I can’t even get one of my dogs to sit at home after four years of trying!

Annie has enthralled millions of people over the years, and this stage production is no different.

It’s a dazzling, feel-good show that brightens up a cold and wet April evening with a toe-tapping classic score, including It’s a Hard Knock Life, Tomorrow and Easy Street.

If you are a fan of musicals, then you’re going to love this one!

Annie: The Musical runs until Saturday (29 April), tickets are on sale at or 02380 711811.

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