Created in 2014, Carpe Diem Emmie is a Midlands based Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel blog. Ran by Emmie, a 28 year old woman based in rural Leicestershire.

In the day Emmie works in a primary school where she is passionate about inclusion and mental health. In the evening she escapes to the cultural world.

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REVIEW | Annie The Musical UK Tour

Royal Concert Hall Nottingham

When I think about the first musical that I genuinely became obsessed with growing up, it's definitely Annie. I brought the cast recording on one of my first trips to London and would play it repeatedly (much to my family's enjoyment) and learn the choreography to It's a Hard Knock Life just in case my big break as the tough red-haired orphan from New York City. Unfortunately it never happened but I recently saw the UK Tour production of Annie after it's amazing West End run. 

The latest production of Annie is produced by Curve Theatre's Nikolai Foster. It's intriguing to see what he does with a musical that initially started as a comic strip inspired by a poem called "Little Orphan Annie" to one of the most frequently performed and popular musicals of all time. Although the 1982 film is probably the most familiar with people who know of the musical. Annie has an unforgettable soundtrack with the likes of  'Tomorrow' and 'NYC' that stays with the audience long after they leave their seats. It also has one of the most heartwarming stories on a stage. 

The story is set in 1930's New York and the original concept is very much still there but with a modernistic feel specifically with the fantastic Colin Richmond's set design, the vibrant jigsaw pieces and map making for a splendid effect. 

The cast are exceptional in delivering a high quality performance on a smaller scale. Strictly Come Dancing's Craig Revel Horwood delivers a fantastic portrayal of Miss Hannigan. Horwood oozes the distaste that Miss Hannigan has for her job through every line she delivers as well as portraying the right body language. He does a fantastic job with the comic timing and creates a character that is larger than life in excellent style. 

Delivering the title role of Annie is Freya Yates, an incredible young actress with a natural winning personality, bags of energy and enthusiasm in such a demanding role. Yates has dazzling vocal talents, particularly when delivering her solo numbers, especially Maybe. She has a fantastic ability in bringing the audience through her story entirely and I really enjoyed watching her perform. 

The audience loved the appearance of Sandy the dog, played by the adorable Labradoodle  Amber (but mostly me!) 

An exceptional performance of the night came from the millionaire Oliver Warbucks (Alex Bourne). Bourne's portrayal of the self-assured and confident, but with a definitive softer side is spot on in this production. He has a real charm about him and his relationship with Annie (Freya Yates) and Grace Farrell (Carolyn Maitland) was really uplifting to the storyline. 

The choreography numbers choreographed by Nick Winston have been expertly crafted and give off an effortless feel with an explosion of energy. My favourite was the tap sequence in NYC, it deserved a standing ovation alone because the execution in the steps was spot on! Winston really brings the stage to life and has done a fantastic job with iconic numbers like It's a Hard Knock Life that feel like you are seeing this timeless musical for the first time. 

This ensemble of both kids and adults do a fantastic job in delivering the musical and they look like they're having a blast whilst doing so! It absolutely echoes out to the audience. 

The only downside for the musical for me was where I was sat. I was sat up in the dress circle type seats and so I couldn't see the facial expressions and connect to the performance entirely. That was the only disappointing element of my visit to see Annie. I also believe that some design elements of this production were missed in the UK Tour but this doesn't distract you from enjoying it and losing some of the story. 

Definitely get yourself a ticket to the timeless musical that gives over and over again. 

If you'd like to see this UK Tour production of Annie you can do until Nov 2019. Book your tickets here!


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