Tuesday, 28 January, 2020

Review: Annie the Musical, Birmingham Hippodrome

★★★★★ Fantastically fun

Direct from the London’s West End, Annie, has returned to Birmingham Hippodrome for three weeks, and you definitely don’t want to miss it.

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, hanging on to hope that her parents will pick her up.

Annie’s luck starts to change 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.

What was once a famous cartoon strip, and later turned into a Broadway musical – The old and some-what outdated, tired story of a girl called Annie, has had a new lease of life in the West End, and is now on tour – with a refreshing take on old characters.

Opening night of the musical at the Hippodrome was led by Freya Yates as Annie, her optimistic approach, adorable smile and vocal range helped reassure the orphans that their parents were coming back during the heartfelt song ‘Maybe’.

Jodie Prenger perfectly portrayed a truly wicked and boozed up Miss Hannigan, who was yearning for love, but incapable of showing or receiving it, giving the persona of a sour grape. The choreography of ‘Easy Street’ and the solo ‘Little Girls’ allowed Jodie to showcase her vocal and comedic talents.

Jodie is best known for winning the role of ‘Nancy’ in Cameron Mackintosh’s West End production of “Oliver!” through the BBC television series “I’d Do Anything”. During her run in the show at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane she received both critical and public acclaim for her portrayal of the role.

The show also featured Alex Bourne as Daddy Warbucks, his secretary Grace Farrell played by Carolyn Maitland, Richard Meek as Rooster and Jenny Gayner as Lily. Oh, and not forgetting Sandy (the labradoodle) that was played by Amber.

All the children that were involved in the show deserved the standing ovation at the end of the night, their complex choreography and musical numbers, especially in ‘It’s the Hard Knock Life’, really showed off the talent in each and every one of them.

The stage design for Annie reminded us of Matilda’s glorious alphabet blocks but instead was jigsaw puzzle pieces, designed by Colin Richmond, each scene easily transitioned with another as portable sets rolled in from the left and disappeared right – and towering doors coming down from the ceiling.

The choreography (by Nick Winston) and the music (sound design by Richard Brooker and orchestration and musical direction by George Dyer) was lively, colourful and upbeat and helped to quickly change the mood and atmosphere of a scene. From “It’s A Hard Knock Life” to “Easy Street” and ending with “A New Deal For Christmas” with inventive moves and full on enthusiasm from the cast, it left us singing the hits on the way home.

Our review of Annie the Musical at Birmingham Hippodrome is awarded 5 stars out of 5. ★★★★★

Grab your tickets for Annie the Musical in Birmingham here.

Follow us on:

AD

Latest news

Disney Plus has been given a new launch date in the UK

Disney have announced this morning that their long anticipated streaming service Disney Plus is set for an earlier launch date.

Waitress London cancels two shows ‘last minute’ leaving audience members fuming

Waitress in London cancelled both shows on Saturday leaving audience members angry and out of pocket.

Jeffree Star confirms split with ‘soulmate’ Nathan Schwandt

Jeffree Star has confirmed that he's split with his long-time boyfriend Nathan Schwandt.

ITV axes I’m A Celebrity’s spin-off show Extra Camp

ITV has axed I'm A Celebrity's spin-off show Extra Camp after an incredible 17 years.
Advertisement

Ariana Grande ‘Sweetener World Tour’ documentary might be coming to Netflix this year

A revealing Ariana Grande 'Sweetener World Tour' documentary might be coming to Netflix this year, and it'll give fans an insight backstage.

Justin Bieber releases music video to record-breaking new song ‘Yummy’

Justin Bieber has released the music video to the record breaking new single 'Yummy' from his fifth album.

Peter Kay’s representatives slam Channel 5 documentary

Peter Kay has had ‘no involvement’ with Channel 5’s documentary that airs tonight, his representatives say.

Gavin and Stacey viewers suggest ways slur in Fairytale of New York could have been handled

During a scene in the Gavin and Stacey’s Christmas Special, Nessa and Bryn performed an uncensored version of Fairytale of New York.

Ruth Jones hints at future Gavin and Stacey series following Christmas Special

Gavin and Stacey co-writer Ruth Jones has hinted there could be future episodes of the hit BBC show following on from the Christmas special.

Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special sends fans wild with shock final scene

Fans of Gavin and Stacey have gone wild on social media as the Christmas special episode ended with Nessa proposing to Smithy.