West End debut for Miranda

Miranda Hart, of Miranda and Call the Midwife fame, as Miss Hannigan in the London revival of Annie, previewing at the Piccadilly Theatre from May 23

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BY BILLY SUTER

IF YOU are a fan of tall British actress Miranda Hart, love musicals and happen to be in London, you are in for a big treat.

The 44-year-old star of TV’s Miranda, also popular as loveable nurse Camilla ‘Chummy’ Browne in the British drama series, Call the Midwife, is to make her West End theatre as tipsy orphanage manageress Miss Hannigan in a revival of Annie.

The much-loved musical, directed by Nikolai Foster and produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian, is about a redheaded orphan girl winning hearts during the Depression-era. It previews at London’s Piccadilly Theatre from May 23, officially opens on June 5, and will reportedly star Hart until September 17.

Also among the cast are Alex Bourne as Daddy Warbucks, Holy Dale Spencer as Grace Farrell, Jonny Fines as Rooster and Djalenga Scott as Lily. The role of Annie will be shared by three 12-year-olds: Madeleine Haynes, Lola Moxom and Ruby Stokes, all from Hampshire.

Hart has been busy in the US of late. She appeared in the 2015 action-comedy, Spy, alongside Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham and Jude Law, which meant she was not able to film Call The Midwife for series five and the 2015 Christmas special. She has said she will not be returning to the popular series.

The original Broadway production of Annie opened at the Alvin Theatre in 1977.  It ran for six years and took the Tony Award for Best Musical. Songs from the show include Tomorrow, It’s the Hard Knock Life, Maybe and Little Girls.

Annie had its London West End premiere at the Victoria Palace Theatre on May 3, 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 November 28, 1981.

The first film of the musical was released  in 1982. An updated film set in the present day was produced by Will Smith and released in December 2014.


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