We love you Miss Joseph – Birds of a Feather star Lesley heads to Ipswich Regent with Annie

Lesley Joseph as Miss Hannigan and her orphan charges in the new production of Annie, coming to the

Lesley Joseph as Miss Hannigan and her orphan charges in the new production of Annie, coming to the Ipswich Regent next year. Photo: Matt Crockett - Credit: Archant

It’s the Hard Knock Life for Birds of a Feather star Lesley Joseph, coming to the Ipswich Regent next year in smash musical Annie.

We can exclusively reveal she’s starring as Miss Hannigan in Michael Harrison and David Ian’s new production. It’s a role she’s already played at the Victoria Palace in London’s West End and on national tour.

Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, spirited Annie’s life at Hannigan’s orphanage isn’t a pleasant one.

Her luck changes when famous billionaire Oliver Warbucks picks her to spend Christmas at his home.

Spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search for her real parents.

Boosting an award-winning book and score, the musical includes songs like It’s the Hard Knock Life, Easy Street, I Don’t Need Anything But You and Tomorrow. Joseph is best known for playing Dorien Green in Birds of a Feather alongside Pauline Quirke and Linda Robson, recording more than 100 episodes from 1989-1998.

The BBC sitcom was then revived for another series by ITV in 2013, with a second airing earlier this year.

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Joseph, whose stage credits also include Calendar Girls and Hot Flush, and the rest of the cast will enjoy a six-day run at the Regent from April 25-30, 2016. Tickets went on sale at 9.30am today.

“We are thrilled to announce that the musical Annie will be coming to the Regent. It is a fabulous story, with great songs and a strong cast led by the irrepressible Lesley Joseph,” said Bryony Rudkin, Ipswich Borough Council’s culture portfolio-holder.

“Annie is continuing the Regent tradition of offering West End shows on your doorstep,”

There’s plenty for fans of musicals to look forward to at the Regent in the meantime, the next being a new tour of Hairspray from November 23-28.

A tale of tolerance in the turbulent 1960s, it features Benidorm’s Tony Maudsley as Edna Turnblad, TV and stage star Claire Sweeney as Velma Von Tussle and Olivier Award nominated actor and beloved Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan as Wilbur Turnblad among others.