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'Full of bounce and laughter': Annie comes to Birmingham Hippodrome - review with pictures

By Megan Archer | Theatre & Comedy | Published: | Last Updated:

The sun is certainly coming out tomorrow after a delightful, family-fun opening performance of Annie at Birmingham Hippodrome last night.

The cast of Annie at Birmingham Hippodrome

Full of bounce and laughter, this feel-good musical just makes you want to ‘stick out your chin, and grin’ the whole way through.

Annie, which is currently touring the UK, sees a downtrodden 11-year-old orphan’s luck turn around when she is welcomed into the home of billionaire Oliver Warbucks for the Christmas holidays.

The cast of Annie at Birmingham Hippodrome

Set in New York in 1933 - during the Great Depression - little Annie touches the lives of everyone she meets, including President Franklin D Roosevelt, with her positive attitude and beaming smile.

The lead role of Annie is played by three young actresses during the tour; Taziva-Faye Katsande, Ava Smith and, on the opening night by Freya Yates.

Her performance of little, bolshy, redhead Annie had the audience cheering from the beginning, with her early rendition of Tomorrow bringing out the best of the crowd.

The cast of Annie at Birmingham Hippodrome

A special mention goes out to the other young actresses though - Annie’s orphan friends.

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Their energetic performance of It’s A Hard Knock Life had more power and passion in than most adults could muster.

But that’s not to say the grown-ups were not just as energetic - musical theatre star Jodie Prengar played a wonderfully-hateable Miss Hannigan; the drunken flirt who poorly manages the orphanage and makes the girls’ lives miserable.

The cast of Annie at Birmingham Hippodrome

And Oliver ‘Daddy’ Warbucks, played by Alex Bourne, with his secretary Grace Farrell, played by Carolyn Maitland, were sweet, charming and lovable.

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Their loving relationship with Annie continues to demonstrate to a younger audience how a family can come in any form.

Even Sandy the labradoodle, Annie’s faithful four-legged friend played by star dog Amber, tugged on the heartstrings.

The cast of Annie at Birmingham Hippodrome

Annie is a perfectly family-friendly, feel-good show - and you can bet your bottom dollar it’s one worth seeing.

I challenge anyone to go and watch it and not come out smiling - because ‘you’re never fully dressed without a smile’, right?

The cast of Annie at Birmingham Hippodrome

Annie runs at Birmingham Hippodrome until Sunday, August 11.

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email megan.archer@expressandstar.co.uk.

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