Rehearsals began today (24 April 2017) for the West End production of Annie at the Piccadilly Theatre. 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 (see below). Amber, a four-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.
Annie begins previews at the Piccadilly Theatre on 23 May 2017 with opening night on 5 June. The production is initially booking to 6 January 2018. Children’s tickets will be half price for Monday to Thursday performances. The production, directed by Nikolai Foster, is produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian.
Annie has a 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.
Miranda Hart is best known on television for her hugely successful, semi-auto-biographical and multi award-wining BBC sitcom Miranda that ran from 2009 for three series and two specials. She was the recipient of a BAFTA nomination, an NTA Award and two TV Choice Awards for her performance as Chummy in the BBC television drama Call the Midwife.
In 2014 she completed her first sell out stand-up arena tour, culminating in five shows at London’s 02 Arena. Her theatre credits include Cruising at the Bush Theatre, Come Out Eli at Battersea Arts Centre and All About Me at the Soho Theatre, as well as multiple appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Alex Bourne’s (Daddy Warbucks) theatre credits include Mamma Mia! and Rocky Horror Show on tour in the UK, Midsummer Songs at the New Wolsey Theatre, Kiss Me, Kate for the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, The Witches of Eastwick at the Watermill Theatre, We Will Rock You and Beauty and the Beast at the Dominion, Chicago at the Adelphi, Grease at the Cambridge Theatre, Show Boat for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Opera North and Annie on tour in the UK.
Holly Dale Spencer’s (Grace Farrell) theatre credits include Sweet Charity at the Royal Exchange Theatre, White Christmas for West Yorkshire Playhouse, American Psycho at the Almeida Theatre, the title role in Holly Golightly for Sadler’s Wells, Kiss Me, Kate for Chichester Festival Theatre and the Old Vic and Annie on tour.
Since graduating from the Guildford School of Acting in 2010, Jonny Fines’ (Rooster) theatre credits include roles in Nikolai Foster’s production of Grease at the Curve, The Sound of Music on UK tour, I Love You, You’re Perfect…Now Change! at The Union Theatre, Avenue Q and Annie on tour.
Djalenga Scott’s theatre credits include Grease and An Officer and a Gentleman both directed by Nikolai Foster at the Curve, West Side Story and Annie on UK tour, Batman Live on tour in the US, Chicago at the Garrick Theatre.
The role of Molly will be alternated by Aurelia Borrelli, eight years old from Saunderton, Buckinghamshire; Ellicia Simondswood, eight years old from Lower Morden, Surrey; and Nicole Subebe, seven years old from Romford, Essex.
The role of Tessie will be alternated by Jessica Cartledge, 10 years old from Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire; Scarlet Grace, 14 years old from Northaw, Hertfordshire; and Dora Yolland, 10 years old from Southend-on-Sea, Essex.
The role of Kate will be alternated by Shani Roberts, nine years old from Braintree, Essex; Emily-May Stephenson, 10 years old from Swadlincote, Derbyshire; and Maisie Thorn, 10 years old from Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex.
The role of Pepper will be alternated by Drew Hylton, 11 years old from Loughton, Essex; Eva MacLaughlan, 10 years old from Barton-le-Clay, Bedfordshire; and Charlotte Ross Gower, 14 years old from Sittingbourne, Kent.
The role of July will be alternated by Nancy Allsop, 14 years old from Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire; Carla Dixon, 13 years old from Wimbledon, London; and Isabelle Methven, 13 years old from Harpenden, Hertfordshire.
The role of Duffy will be alternated by Kya Davis, nine years old from Slough, Berkshire; Nicole Dube, 12 years old from Colchester, Essex; and Kathryn Whetter, 10 years old from Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey.
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.
Tickets for Annie at the Piccadilly Theatre are available HERE.