Annie Jr.

August 5, 2019 | By | Reply More

★★★☆☆     Entertaining

theSpace @ Niddry Street (Venue 9): Fri 2 – Sat 10 Aug 2019
Review by Sarah Moyes

Local youngsters from Edinburgh Youth Theatre put on a lively and entertaining performance in their rendition of Annie, aptly named Annie Jr., in TheSpace @ Niddry Street.

This classic musical has been a family favourite since it first opened in Broadway in 1977. And the story is still very popular, judging by the full audience with lots of young children sitting in the front rows of seats.

The Annie Jr. company outside their venue. Pic Edinburgh Youth Theatre

This latest production by Edinburgh Youth Theatre (formerly Tribe Porty Youth Theatre) includes 24 talented young performers and is directed by local BAFTA Scotland winner, Shauna Macdonald. The story follows the same narrative as the full-length version, which sees Annie stuck in an orphanage run by the mean matron Miss Hannigan.

The spotlight shines on Molly Roberts who gives a confident performance in the lead role of Annie, a young and determined orphan who tries to run away from the orphanage. On the streets of New York, she finds a stray dog, played by a very cute soft toy, that is hilariously pushed across the stage when Annie calls its name.

Lily Mayers is really something special in the role of Miss Hannigan, giving a strong and powerful performance and she barks orders at the young children, even making them wake up and scrub the floor at 4am. Luckily for Annie, her dream of escaping comes closer when wealthy billionaire Mr Warbucks played by Hugh Harris decides to take in an orphan for the holiday season.

lively and enthusiastic

The show is has some of musical theatre’s most familiar songs in Tomorrow, Maybe and Easy Street. However, it is unfortunate that a lot of the solo vocals are hard to hear over the music – and even harder still if you are sitting further away from the performer whose turn it is to sing.

That said, while some of the vocals aren’t the strongest, the young cast make up for it with lively and enthusiastic performances. The musical highlight of the show is a full ensemble performance of It’s the Hard-Knock Life.

The show’s set is simple with just a few props on stage, but the production makes effective use of costume to illustrate the story. From Annie’s ripped and inside-out jumper to Miss Hannigan’s leopard print dressing gown and feather boa.

Annie might be a musical that has been staged a million times before, but Edinburgh Youth Theatre are giving both the performers and their young audience a chance to experience musical theatre and that counts for a lot.

Annie Jr is a lively adaption of a classic tale which is fun for the whole family.

Running time 55 minutes (no interval)
theSpace @ Niddry Street, Niddry Street, EH1 1TH (Venue 9)
Friday 2 – Saturday 10 August 2019
Daily (not Sun 4): 10.10am.
Tickets and details: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/annie-jr

Company website: https://eytheatre.com/
Facebook – @EYTheatre
Twitter – @EYTheatre

ENDS

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