They say you’re never fully dressed without a smile and it’s safe to say that the audience at the opening night of Annie the Musical left Birmingham Hippodrome with more than just a grin on their faces.
Fresh from the West End, the Tony Award-winning musical has been making its way around the country, where it’s enchanting its audiences with its unforgettable musical numbers and heart-warming story that’s been the backdrop of millions of childhoods.
Annie the Musical has made Birmingham Hippodrome its new home for the next three weeks, where it will continue to tell the story of an 11-year-old orphan named Annie who is desperate to find her parents. But when she’s sent to the home of billionaire Oliver Warbucks for the Christmas holidays, Annie’s life changes in ways that she never thought possible.
From the moment the cast of young orphans take to the stage to make their beds, an explosion of energy and toe-tapping songs encase you in an evening that constantly has you smiling from ear-to-ear. It’s an explosion of colour teamed with a truly exceptional cast that makes this show the perfect package for children and families.
During its stint in the second city, the role of Annie will be alternated between three young actresses, all of which are incredibly talented. The opening performance saw Ava Smith step into the shoes of the joyful redhead, and her upbeat performance deserves nothing but high praise. She had no problem in taking on the big numbers while keeping the audience entertained with her charming and slightly cheeky personality, while her adorable cockapoo, Sandy didn’t fail to win over the audience during his appearances.
Praise must equally be given to the young supporting actresses, the Kids, who are Annie’s group of friends in the orphanage. Their performances in the popular number Hard Knock Life packed a punch and brought the first 15 minutes of the show to life with a slick dance routine combined with snappy lyrics and vocals.
Of course, the story of Annie isn’t complete without the sly Miss Hannigan, a role that has also been taken on by Craig Revel Horwood and Anita Dobson. Jodie Prenger is currently portraying the drunken orphanage owner. She’s joined by Alex Bourne as the lovable Oliver ‘Daddy’ Warbucks, Carolyn Maitland as the kind Grace Farrell and Richard Meek and Jenny Gayner as the scheming duo, Rooster and Lily St Regis.
Effortlessly blending a beautiful soundtrack packed with all the glitz and glamour of New York’s Time Square and an all-round unbeatable cast, Annie the Musical is the feel-good musical that you need to see this summer. We guarantee you’ll be leaving with a spring in your step.