Annie – Bristol Hippodrome REVIEW

Have you ever seen a show that didn’t quite do it for you? Nothing was necessarily bad in the production but didn’t quite hit the spot. Unfortunately this was Annie for me. As you read on you see there wasn’t really anything that lacked, it was all pretty good, but I didn’t leave the theatre with that post-show buzz of wanting to talk about it.

Annie played by Freya Yates starred as the ginger little madam with a personality as big as her dreams. Her and dog Sandy stole the show along with the audiences hearts.

The young ensemble of girls were the strongest element by far in this production. With opening scenes and numbers such as ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life’ being stand out moments. Their energy never lapsed and their acting and singing was superb, I’ve honestly never seen such young, talented children. These kids will go far!

The adult ensemble was equally strong. The direction and interpretation allowed for an ensemble to be easily integrated more regularly throughout the production and it definitely benefited from it. The choreography, by Nick Winston, also deserves a special mention. He has a knack for choreographing for both kids and adults.

Miss Hannigan, played by actress Anita Dobson was hyped up across posters and billboards. Unfortunately, for me, she fell a little flat. The character played by Carol Burnett in the film is just so iconic that it would be hard to beat for many. I felt Dobson struggled with the singing and dancing elements of the role and although she can definitely act, I would have been keen to see her take the character in a different direction rather than try to top something that can’t be beaten.

The interpretation of the story, involvement of extra themes, scenes and songs and more historical context filled out a flat feeling production. The story was cleverly moulded to work on stage but I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed it wasn’t exactly as the original.

It was agreed by me and my plus one that there was simply something missing from this production, and I still can’t quite put my finger on it. Most of the elements needed were there, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t connect to the production.

‘Tomorrow’ should have tugged at my heart strings and ‘Little Girls’ should have had me in stitches, but neither were achieved. But do not despair this is still an enjoyable production that will have you singing all the way home, I just didn’t quite get the buzz this time. 

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