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Review: Annie, the Ipswich Regent, to April 30

PUBLISHED: 11:30 26 April 2016 | UPDATED: 11:30 26 April 2016

Jonny Fines as Rooster, Lesley Joseph as Miss Hannigan and Djalenga Scott as Lily in Annie. Photo: Paul Coltas

Jonny Fines as Rooster, Lesley Joseph as Miss Hannigan and Djalenga Scott as Lily in Annie. Photo: Paul Coltas

Archant

Performing to a full house on Monday's opening night, the cast of Annie beamed a ray of sunshine down on their audience.

Annie The Musical, at the Ipswich Regent. Photo: Paul ColtasAnnie The Musical, at the Ipswich Regent. Photo: Paul Coltas

Energetic, vibrant and full of heart from the get-go, the touring production was everything we wanted it to be and more.

From the opening notes of Maybe to the encore finale, each member of Annie sparkled.

Madeleine Haynes, in the title role, showed a lot of gumption throughout and really held the stage with a voice that showed maturity beyond her years.

Lesley Joseph struck just the right balance of humour and evil as Miss Hannigan – but wasn’t quite sure if she was from NYC or the East End.

A stand out star was Jonny Fines as Rooster, who camped up the role and was an effortless villain.

Particularly noteworthy were the Homeless in anti-establishment number Hooverville, which was excellently staged; the girls’ in act one singing about their Hard Knock Life and the uplifting I Don’t Need Anything But You in the second half.

Applause must go too to the costume and set designers, who managed to create a rich tapestry of colour throughout; and to the lighting crew who brought the theatre alive with snowflakes, starlight and faux cinema spotlighting.

A thoroughly enjoyable feast for the eyes for the whole family.

Read entertainment writer Wayne Savage’s chat with Joseph here.

Charlotte Smith-Jarvis

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