The rags to riches story we all know and love sets in for a week-long run at Newcastle's Theatre Royal. You can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll love it, says Elysia Agnew.


It’s 1930s New York, The Great Depression is banishing the boom, and brave young Annie is living a life of misery at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Together with her family of orphan friends, Annie lives the ‘Hard Knock Life’, until a chance escape route comes her way, thanks to billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. She is chosen to spend a fairytale Christmas at the Warbucks home, leading her on an exciting new path.

A show packed with childhood tunes, side-splitting numbers, kids, dogs – and the heartwarming story we all know and love.


Miss Hannigan is a character we love to hate. The gin-swigging, little girl-hating baddie is played by EastEnders and Call The Midwife actress, Anita Dobson. She adopts the ‘boo-hiss’ role of Miss H effortlessly, with the perfect mix of flitty, firece and flirtatious behaviour. She hisses child-hating venom at the kids, throws herself at the laundry man and makes us laugh in her drunken ‘Little Girls’ number.

Conniving couple, Rooster and Lily – played by Richard Meek and Jenny Gayner, take on the same expert sleaziness. A suitably sneaky duo, particularly as they plot to boycott Oliver Warbucks in the ‘Easy Street’ number.

Alex Bourne plays Daddy Warbucks – a hard-to-grasp character on first impression, who soon becomes the father figure we all remember from the film. A big man with a big heart – accompanied by his sweet-as-sugar sidekick, Grace Farrell – played by the lovely Carolyn Maitland.

A superstar line-up of ‘Little Girls’ makes this show! Bringing bundles of fun-loving energy to the stage. We watch in awe as they bring memorable musical numbers to life. Freya Yates takes on the lead as Annie on this occasion. A little person with the loveliest voice – and a determined young character ready to take on the world.

Special mention goes to Amber the lovable labradoodle – an ‘on point’ pooch when it comes to showing us a bit of Sandy love.


It’s everything we know and love about the 1980s movie, with plenty of drama, dancing and deep messages that still mean something today.

From the gloomy orphanage, to the seedy streets of NYC and the glitzy home of Oliver Warbucks, we’re taken on the journey of a little girl looking for a ‘normal’ life. It’s as exciting as it is emotional – plenty of action-packed numbers and sweet solo acts.

Highlights include the girl power-goodness of ‘It’s A Hard Knock Life’, the scheming sleaziness of trickster trio, Miss H, Rooster and Lily in ‘Easy Street’ and the upbeat rendition of ‘You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile’ with Bert Healy and the Boylan Sisters.

It’s all so familiar – and despite a couple of lumpy-throat moments, it’s a feel-good show from start to finish.


Little ones, teens, grown-ups, grannies – it’s a story that resonates today as much as it did in the 80s when the original film hit the screens. Perfect for a family day out during the Easter hols, or a great girls night, remembering a childhood favourite.


This family favourite is on stage at the Theatre Royal, now until Saturday 13th April 2019.

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