REVIEW: Annie, Sheffield Lyceum

THE weather might not be the most reliable these days but the sun is sure to come out tomorrow with Annie in Sheffield this week.

Chris Moreno’s farewell production of the classic rags to riches musical of little orphan Annie opened to packed audiences last night at the Lyceum Theatre.

It got off to a rousing start as the bunch of feisty orphanage girls performed a fantastic dance, belting out memorable hits such as Maybe and It’s A Hard-Knock Life.

Lauren Arnison as Annie showed great confidence as she commanded the stage while little Daisy Sequerra of the Constance Grant Dance Centre shone as fellow orphan Molly.

The pace soon stepped up another gear as Su Pollard entered as the dastardly drunk Miss Hannigan who runs the New York orphanage.

Pollard was definitely made for the role, injecting plenty of her natural comedy into Miss Hannigan to make her one of the most memorable stars of the show.

The audience was then taken on an adventure as Annie is chosen to live with billionaire Daddy Warbucks who soon grows fond of her and decides to adopt her.

But with Miss Hannigan’s evil brother Rooster (Philip Andrew) and girlfriend Lily St Regis (Kerry George) concocting an evil plan to snatch Annie back and earn $50,000 dollars, it’s not going to be a smooth ride.

The corrupt couple put on a great turn with Miss Hannigan when they performed a brilliantly sleazy turn with Easy Street,

David McAlister plays Daddy Warbucks to perfection, showing a softer side to his hard-nosed businessman persona.

Simone Craddock as his secretary Grace Farrell complements him perfectly, playing the role with style and finesse.

The supporting cast were excellent, with some standout performances from Audrey Leybourne as housekeeper Mrs Pugh and Ashley Knight as butler Drake.

The production drew to a rousing Christmas-themed finale - perfect for getting the audience into a heart-warming festive mood.

Annie runs at Sheffield Lyceum Theatre runs until Saturday 29th October - tickets are priced £19-£31. Visit or call 0114 2789789 to book.

by Chantal Spittles