The hit Broadway and West End musical Annie is based on the famous Harold Gray comic strip 'Little Orphan Annie'. With a score by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and book by Thomas Meehan, the show follows the plucky red-headed orphan as she is taken out of the hard-knock life of Miss Hannigan's orphanage and embraced by millionaire Daddy Warbucks.
A new West End production of Annie opened at the Piccadilly Theatre in May 2017, produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian. Directed by Nikolai Foster, Artistic Director of the Curve, it features sets and costumes by Colin Richmond, choreography by Nick Winston, lighting by Ben Cracknell, sound design by Richard Brooker and orchestration and musical direction by George Dyer.
Comedian Meera Syal plays the role of the horrible Miss Hannigan (previously played by Miranda Hart and Craig Revel Horwood).
The original Broadway production opened at the Alvin Theatre in 1977 where it ran for six years, going on to win the Tony Award for Best Musical. Songs from the show including "Tomorrow" and "It's the Hard Knock Life" went on to become standards of the American songbook, and thanks to the numerous revivals and productions around the world have made Annie one of the most recognisable musicals of all time.
Annie had its West End premiere at the Victoria Palace Theatre on 3 May 1978 in a production that starred the original Annie Andrea McArdle in the title role. Sheila Hancock starred as Miss Hannigan alongside Stratford Johns as Daddy Warbucks. The production ran for 1,485 performances, closing in the West End on 28 November 1981.
The first film of the musical was released by Columbia Pictures in 1982, starring Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks, Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan, Ann Reinking as Grace Farrell, Tim Curry as Rooster, Bernadette Peters as Lily, and Aileen Quinn as Annie. An updated film set in the present day was produced by Will Smith and released in December 2014 starring Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz.
Annie was revived in London's West End at the Victoria Palace, running from 30 September 1998 to 28 February 1999 in a production that starred Lesley Joseph and Lily Savage as Miss Hannigan.
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. Determined to find her real parents, her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search…
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Cast and creative
By: Book by Thomas Meehan, Score by Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin. Based on the Tribune Media Service Comic Strip – Little Orphan Annie
Songs by: Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin
Director: Nikolai Foster
Producer: Michael Harrison and David Ian
Cast list: Meera Syal (Miss Hannigan)
Design: Colin Richmond
Lighting: Ben Cracknell
Choreography: Nick Winston
Sound: Richard Brooker
Other info: Orchestration and musical direction by George Dyer