West End Annies unveiled

Published 24 April 2017

As rehearsals began today for the West End production of Annie at the Piccadilly Theatre, full casting for the production was announced.

Joining the previously announced Miranda Hart who will play Miss Hannigan, are Alex Bourne as Daddy Warbucks, Holly Dale Spencer as Grace Farrell, Jonny Fines as Rooster and Djalenga Scott as Lily.

The title role of Annie will be shared by Madeleine Haynes, 13-years old from Hadley Wood, Barnet; Lola Moxom, 12-years old from Rochester, Kent; and Ruby Stokes, 12-years old from Hampshire. They will be joined by three teams of young performers who will play the girls in Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Amber, a 4 year-old Labradoodle, will play Annie’s dog Sandy.

Completing the company will be ensemble members Keisha Atwell, Sophie Ayers, Bobby Delaney, Nic Gibney, Patrick Harper, Ben Harrold, George Ioannides, Megan Louch, Benjamin Mundy, Ben Oliver, Heather Scott-Martin, Anne Smith, Kate Somerset How, Katie Warsop and Russell Wilcox.

The kids casts will see parts alternated by Aurelia Borrelli, Ellicia Simondswood, and Nicole Subebe (all playing Molly); Jessica Cartledge, Scarlet Grace and Dora Yolland (Tessie); Shani Roberts, Emily-May Stephenson, and Maisie Thorn (Kate); Drew Hylton, Eva MacLaughlan, and Charlotte Ross Gower (Pepper); Nancy Allsop, Carla Dixon and Isabelle Methven (July); and Kya Davis, Nicole Dube, and Kathryn Whetter (Duffy).

Annie begins previews at the Piccadilly Theatre on 23 May 2017 with opening night on 5 June 2017. The production is initially booking to 6 January 2018. The production, directed by Nikolai Foster, is produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian.

Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery and torment at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Meanwhile, spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search for her true family…

Alex Bourne’s (Daddy Warbucks) theatre credits include Mamma Mia! and Rocky Horror Show on tour in the UK. Holly Dale Spencer’s (Grace Farrell) theatre credits include Sweet Charity at the Royal Exchange Theatre, and Jonny Fines’ (Rooster) theatre credits include roles in Nikolai Foster’s production of Grease at the Curve.

Foster’s production arrives in the West End 40 years after the original Broadway production opened in 1977 and received seven Tony awards including the Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. The last West End production of Annie opened at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 1998. In 1982, Annie was adapted for the big screen directed by John Huston with a cast including Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters and Albert Finney and in 2014 a further feature film was released, directed by Will Gluck, with a cast including Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx. The much-loved score includes the classics It’s A Hard Knock Life, Tomorrow and Easy Street.

Annie has book by Thomas Meehan adapted from the comic strip Little Orphan Annie, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin. The West End production will have sets and costumes designed by Colin Richmond, choreography by Nick Winston, lighting by Ben Cracknell, sound design by Richard Brooker and orchestration and musical direction by George Dyer.

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