CRITICS CHOICE: Emily Hardy’s Pick Of 2015

Annie Uk Tour 2015

My pick of 2015 is neither a stroke of theatrical genius like the Almeida’s Oresteia nor a brilliant and original work of art like 1927’s Golum. It is in fact a populist musical, despised by many, dating back to the 1970s.

NB: If squeaky-voiced, optimistic red-headed orphans conjure distressing memories of amateur productions past, look away now because my pick of 2015 is… believe it or not… Annie.

Nikolai Foster’s fast-paced and punchy production – touring the UK until June 2016 – has given one very old dog a fresh lease of life. Annie, with new colourful choreography and a ‘funky’ edge comparable to that in Tim Minchin’s Matilda, can finally escape the chorus of groans that once accompanied its name.

Thanks to this energetic reimagining, it’s once again acceptable to hum Charles Strouse’s Tomorrow (boy oh boy!) and soak up Thomas Meehan’s saccharine rags to riches story – just as I did when I was seven.

And that, in my opinion, is a feat worthy of note.

Read Emily’s review of Annie.

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