CRAIG Revel-Horwood may have been the big name in the current touring production of the well-known musical Annie, and although he was a supervillain, in true Annie spirit it was the children that shone the most.

The Strictly judge brought all of his classic pantomime villainry to the role of orphanage owner Miss Hannigan and certainly excelled throughout his many parts in the classic rags-to-riches tale - particularly during one amusing moment where a table he was on moved for no reason and quick-as-a-whip he, in character, asked: "Am I drunk or is this moving."

And it's great that Revel-Horwood is so good because as the big name on the poster, he's a big reason why many are going to part with their cash, alongside Coronation Street's Jodie Prenger who takes over the role while Horwood is on Strictly duty over the weekend. 

But it's apparent as soon as the show starts that its cast of orphans including the central Annie (played by Sharangi Gnanavarathan) were the biggest stars on that stage with back-to-back musical numbers of 'Maybe' and 'Hard Knock Life' putting the selection of youngsters through paces they were more than able to match.

As an individual and the one given the historic and iconic role, Gnanavarathan was exceptional both in her characterisations of the effortlessly positive Annie, and with her singing which was powerful and impressive - especially when tasked with the musical's most well-known song 'Tomorrow'. 

Alex Bourne as Daddy Warbucks and Amelia Adams as Grace Farrell are both superb as the kind and warm parental figures that rescue Annie from her unfortunate situation and Paul French and Billie-Kay were great as the scheming Rooster and Lily with their villainous musical number 'Easy Street' alongside Revel-Horwood being another highlight. 

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While the story at hand is very much of its time, the set design, staging and costumes for the current tour very much looked, to me at least, to recall the stylistic mannerisms of Matilda, another child-centred musical - and the assorted puzzle piece backdrop worked really well with the whole thing. 

Not to mention that golden Labradoodle Sandy was one of the better canine stars I've seen in a musical, offering a real treat to the audience given how rare a sight it is these days. 

It's a real feel-good show, as any show that features a kind-hearted orphan helping the President of the United States resolve the Great Depression ought to be, so if you're looking to smile, tap your feet and feel good, you can't go wrong with Annie.