Multi-award-winning comedy writer, actor and author Miranda Hart, will make her West End Theatre debut as Miss Hannigan in Annie opening in the West End in May 2017. Previews at the Piccadilly Theatre will begin on 23rd May 2017 with opening night on 5th June 2017. The production, directed by Nikolai Foster, will be produced by Michael Harrison and David Ian. Further casting will be announced shortly.
Miranda Hart said: “Miss Hannigan is a dream role, and certainly has been for me, but I never thought it would be a reality. But here we are and I have a newly found musical theatre-esque spring in my step! I hope people will leave the theatre feeling life is a little better and dreamier and jollier after watching it, as much as we feel that performing it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some leg-warmers to put on…”
Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery and torment at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Meanwhile, spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search for her true family…
Annie has 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.
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. The much-loved score includes the classics It’s A Hard Knock Life, Tomorrow and Easy Street.
Miranda Hart is best known on television for her hugely successful, semi-auto-biographical and multi-award-wining BBC sitcom Miranda which ran from 2009 for 3 series and 2 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 My, What I Call, Live Show culminating in five shows at London’s 02 Arena. As a best-selling author her first book Is It Just Me? was the biggest selling non-fiction hardback of 2013 winning Non-Fiction Book of the Year at The National Book Awards. She followed this in 2014 with The Best of Miranda and last year released her third book Peggy and Me. Her theatre credits include Cruising for The Bush Theatre, Come Out Eli for Battersea Arts Centre, All About Me for Soho Theatre as well as multiple appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Her film credits include Spy, The Infidel, Magicians as well as upcoming The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018).
Nikolai Foster is Artistic Director at Curve. Since taking up his post in 2015, he has directed Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey’s Grease, Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Spring Awakening, Legally Blonde, Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s (also Theatre Royal Haymarket and on tour nationally), Roald Dahl’s The Witches, adapted by David Wood, Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, Shakespeare’s Richard III, Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing and Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good, a performance to celebrate the reveal of the tomb of King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral. Foster has also served as an Associate Director at West Yorkshire Playhouse Leeds as trained at Drama Centre London and at the Crucible, Sheffield, supported by the Regional Theatre Young Director scheme.
Piccadilly Theatre, 16 Denman St, Soho, London W1D 7DY
Booking from 23 May 2017 to 6 January 2018
Press night: 5 June 2017 at 7pm
Performances: Tuesday 23 May at 7.30pm, Wednesday 24 May at 7.30pm, Thursday 25 May at 7.30pm, Friday 26 May at 7.30pm, Saturday 27 May at 3pm and 7.30pm.
Then Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7.30pm, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm
Book Tickets for Piccadilly Theatre
16 Denman Street, London, W1D 7DY
Piccadilly Theatre Seating Plan
Venue and travel information:
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Tube Lines: Bakerloo, Piccadilly
Directions from nearest tube: Pass the famous illuminated signs on your right to take Glasshouse Street/Sherwood Street where the theatre can be seen.
Railway Station: Charing Cross
Bus Numbers: (Shaftesbury Avenue) 14, 19, 38; (Regent Street) 3, 6, 12, 13, 15, 23, 88, 94, 139, 159, 453
Night Bus Numbers: (Shaftesbury Avenue) 14, N19, N38; (Regent Street) 6, 12, 23, 88, 94, 139, 159, 453, N3, N13, N15, N18, N109, N136
Car Park: Brewer Street
Within Congestion Zone: Yes
Venue Facilities: Air conditioned, Bar, Infrared hearing loop, Toilets and Wheelchair accessible
The Piccadilly Theatre London
The opening of the theatre was on 27th April 1928 with the musical Blue Eyes, by Jerome Kern and starring Miss Evelyn Laye.
The Piccadilly Theatre was at the time one of the largest theatres to be built in London, as its souvenir brochure of the time proclaimed “If all the bricks used in the building were laid in a straight line, they would stretch from London to Paris”.
In its early days, the Piccadilly operated as a cinema and made history when it premiered the first talking picture to be shown in Britain, which was The Singing Fool with Al Jolson. Jolson also opened the Jazz Singer in 1928, appearing on-stage after the show to sing Mammy.
When the theatre opened it was named The Piccadilly Theatre in a multi-purpose theatre used to house musicals, revue and films, the theatre reopened as The London Casino on 2nd April 1936 having been converted into a cabaret restaurant which became particularly noted for its lavish stage shows. During the Second World War it was used by servicemen under the name The Queensbury All Services Club.
There have been a number of Royal Shakespeare Company productions including Edward II, starring Ian McKellen. Henry Fonda made his West End debut in the solo play Clarence Darrow and Y. The 1990s witnessed an expansion in musicals, ballet and dance, which resulted in the most successful commercial ballet season ever to play in the West End, Adventures in Motion Pictures production of Swan Lake.
The Piccadilly Theatre has been home to a season of plays directed by Sir Peter Hall, starring famous actors and actresses such as Dame Judi Dench, Julia McKenzie, Michael Pennington and Eric Sykes. It has also hosted the smash-hit musical Spend Spend Spend starring the Olivier award-winning actress, Barbara Dickson, the sell-out run of Shockheaded Peter, together with one of the most successful plays ever, Noises Off starring Lynn Redgrave. Recently closed is Jersey Boys, which transferred from the Prince Edward Theatre.