Much to enjoy in family favourite

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Annie - Blackpool Grand Theatre

A packed house got “spiffed up” in their glad rags for an all American night at The Grand Theatre.

Su Pollard led the cast as Annie hit the stage and played for laughs as the gin-soaked orphanage governess Miss Hannigan.

She belted out Easy Street in her unmistakable tones and created easy comedy with her man-hungry, bandy legged ways. As an alcoholic, washed-up glamour queen in the wrong career, she’s the villain you can’t help but like.

Audience members raised on a diet of the film may be a bit disappointed by the stage version which focuses on the political history of the Great Depression. Sections like the movie scene differ and much of the start of the relationship between Annie and Oliver Warbucks is skipped over and spoken of instead of seen.

Despite this, David McAlister’s surprisingly happy-go-lucky Warbucks is convincing enough as a self-made man and the power of remaining positive through glum times.

Perhaps this was taken too far with Annie who as a vibrant red and long-legged symbol of hope, was a little one dimensional.

The show was all but stolen by a tiny actress from Michael Hall’s Theatre School in Marton who took on the role of the orphan Molly. This pint-sized performer raised the biggest cheer, as did Danny the Dog playing Sandy who broke a World Record on opening Night with his number of performances in the role.

With a good supporting cast in the form of servant Drake and the glamorous Grace Farrell, there is much to enjoy in this enduring, and festive family favourite.