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Review: Books, Theatre, Albums, Movies and Gigs


Liverpool Empire Theatre
August 16 – August 18

Producer: Liverpool Empire Youth Initiative

Cast Includes:  Alice Carlisle, Grace Galloway, Vanessa Booth, Tom Hogan

Running Time: 2 hrs 30 mins

We all know the iconic story of the orphan Annie that was originally born from the mind of Harold Gray in 1924 and published in The New York News as a comic and then made into a musical that had its first performance on Broadway in 1977 and then adapted into a film in 1982. Annie captures the hearts of everyone regardless of age as the audience is taken on an emotional rollercoaster journey of her rags to riches story.

The show was opened with the near obnoxious New York accent that Annie is famed for. The young actors that portrayed the orphans never faulted with this accent and kept in character well even when performing the iconic number ‘Hard Knock Life.’ This was, by far the best number of the show with brilliant choreography and smiles that bought the audience in.


Alice Carlisle who portrayed Annie had big shoes to fill but set the bar high for the older more experienced actors of the performance. She will not let avid Annie enthusiasts down with her cheeky rapport and her Broadway worthy vocal skills that she had down to a T.

Of course we can’t forget the magnificent vocals of the other actors involved especially Grace Galloway who played Grace and Vanessa Booth who played Miss Hannigan. Both actors played their roles skilfully and had stunning vocals.

Also Tom Hogan who portrayed Mr Warbucks adapted well to the minor but frequent microphone malfunctions that sometimes detracted from the performance. However even though he was young he played the originally older character in a believable and respectable way.

One thing that impressed us was the realistic scenery, props and lighting that had smooth transactions between scenes and made sure that the performance firmly remained a respectable theatre production and not a pantomime. The live orchestra set the tone for each scene playing each prestigious Annie number with boundless enthusiasm that reflected on both the actors and the audience and had us bouncing in our seats!

The majority of the actors portrayed their characters professionally and were well polished however some minor characters broke character and didn’t convey the emotions that other actors had.

Overall the production that the Liverpool Empire Stage Experience put on a show that is appealing to all ages and lives up to the expectations that many would have when going to see Annie. The vocal and acting ability of the main characters surprised us as they were all so young and gave a fun and stunning performance.

Reviewer Biographies:

Emma Carroll

A former pupil of Archbishop Blanch Sixth Form and now a future student of The University of Liverpool studying Biological Sciences starting this September, Emma  would like to pursue a career in science and embrace her artistic side which includes painting and drawing. Emma would love to find a job that somehow combines both science and art or even possibly become a graphic designer.

Samantha Grainger

Has just finished studying at Knowsley Community College studying Music Technology and in September will be moving out of Liverpool to Staffordshire to go to Staffordshire University to study Music Technology and Management. Music has always been a passion for me and Samantha has performed in places such as The Echo Arena and The Philharmonic Hall. Her aim is to pursue a career as an events manager organising music events, corporate events and weddings.



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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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