Liv Andrusier belts out the songs with power and her portrayal of Annie is nuanced. She captures this punchy, over-confident woman who pulled off a remarkable feat. I didn’t always warm to her, making the contrasting softer side to Annie, revealed in lover’s duet, “the Charmed Existence of Fred Rose”, one of the show’s most memorable moments. I felt Annie’s overwhelming desire to run off through Andruisier’s emotional delivery of the spine-tingling “Stranger” in a scene where we learn of Annie’s past.
Likeable sidekick Martha is an antidote to Annie. As Martha blossoms, Ellis’ performance gets bigger and she has a lovely voice. Playing multiple people from Annie’s journey, she shows off a range of accents and her comic character acting.
Amy Jane Cook’s wood panelled office with floor to ceiling bookshelves, transports us to the late nineteenth century. Unexpected things happen to the skilfully designed set, adding to the entertainment. An interactive map of the world plots the ride, rolling library ladders are handy to hang off in the routines, drawers of a large oak chest open into steps that light up as the duo dance up and down them and a secret panel slides up for train carriage seats to emerge through steam.