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Over 45 years on "annie" continues to captivate audiences!

Annie the Musical arrived in Belfast's Grand Opera House last night and we were their to reminisce and be entertained.

Many moons ago I played the part of Rooster - the foe father, Mr Mudge though this aside like probably 1/2 the living population I have seen various stage productions and movie adaptations so how did last night compare and for any newbies what is the show about.

"Annie" started life on stage in Broadway back in 1977, based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip "Little Orphan Annie," it was brought to life with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and a book by Thomas Meehan.

The beloved and timeless musical has captured the hearts of audiences around the world for decades.

The story is set during the Great Depression and follows the journey of a spunky young orphan named Annie, who dreams of a better life and finding her long-lost parents. The character of Annie is known for her unwavering optimism, iconic red hair, and memorable songs such as "Tomorrow" and "It's the Hard Knock Life."

The musical explores themes of hope, resilience, and the power of love and family. "Annie" has been adapted into various films, television productions, and countless stage productions over the years, making it a beloved and enduring part of the musical theatre canon.

"Annie" has been adapted into several films. The most famous adaptation is the 1982 movie starring Aileen Quinn as Annie and Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks. A more recent adaptation was released in 2014, with Cameron Diaz as Miss Hannigan and Jamie Foxx this got mixed reviews and in my humble opinion didn't touch the original though was still enjoyable

Although not one of my personal favourite shows It's a story that resonates with people of all ages, as Annie's determination and positivity in the face of adversity is able to inspire and uplift audiences

The show is packed with memorable and iconic songs that have become classics in musical theater. Some of the most well-known songs include "Tomorrow," "It's the Hard Knock Life," "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile," and "Maybe." These songs are catchy and have been covered and reimagined by various artists over the years.

The musical's music is characterized by its uplifting and optimistic melodies. "Tomorrow," in particular, is a song of hope that has resonated with audiences for decades. It's often seen as an anthem of positivity.

While "Annie" is generally a lighthearted and family-friendly musical, it also has moments of depth and emotion in its music, such as "Maybe," where Annie expresses her longing for her parents.

The dancing was choreographed to reflect the time period and the mood of the scenes, using Tap and various other styles though the energetic routines, especially in numbers like "It's the Hard Knock Life," where the orphans express their frustration and dreams though also the ensemble numbers in the street and sequences in Warbucks residence - so much talent was displayed, it was a real treat.

The set was clever, I loved the huge jigsaw pieces that framed the stage, the extra large and obscure door for the entrance to the orphanage and the interesting use of people as taxi's, there where many other unique and modern variations that kept me occupied though I don't want to give too much away.

Topping the Bill as Miss Hannigan was Craig Revel Horwood, everyone's favourite charismatic and sometimes controversial judge from BBC's Strictly Come Dancing. From coming on to our screens back in 2004 Craig has become a household name, In addition to his work on television, he has appeared in and directed various stage productions, been involved in West End musicals and regional theater productions, showcasing his versatility as a performer and director. He has authored several books, including autobiographies and fiction novels, further showcasing his talents beyond the realm of dance and choreography. It doesn't stop there he is has appeared on and judged other reality shows, such as "RuPaul's Drag Race UK." and is a regular presence in the world of pantomime, often appearing in traditional British pantomime productions during the festive season.

He gave a great performance last night, I was particularly impressed with the vocals, I didn't take Craig for a singer, boy was I wrong, he has some pipes, bravo. Oh and I must also mention those legs - look out for him flashing more than I eyeful of those pins lol. If you are a fan of his you can look forward to his return back to The Grand Opera House next May for the touring production of The Wizard Of Oz - he will be playing the Wicked Witch of the West - we cannot wait.

A special mention must go to the young talent, there are 18 actors who work in rotation, 6 at a time playing the orphans - they were all so talented and would put many adult's to shame, I foresee great futures ahead for all.

In closing, the show offered a combination of meaningful story, engaging acting, memorable songs and well-executed dance routines is what makes "Annie" such an appealing and enjoyable musical. The musical's enduring popularity and timeless story continue to captivate audiences of all ages around the world.

Don’t miss the opportunity to she “Annie” at the Grand Opera House , in runs until Saturday 4th November - tickets are available via


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