Friday, 23 August 2013

Review | ANNIE (New Alexandra Theatre Stage Experience) August 2013

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the New Alexandra Theatre's Birmingham Stage Experience. Following the success of Oliver (2009), Fame (2010) and Bugsy Malone (2011) the ever popular summer school returns to the Birmingham this year with Annie

The story of an orphan child living a hard knock life in an girls orphanage under the rule of the ever hungover matron Miss Hannigan, Annie is all about the children and with a weak ensemble it just wouldn't work. I imagine many schools and amateur groups have tried and produced mediocre productions but here at Stage Experience what you get is nothing short of a full-blown West End production - the only difference being, the entire cast and many crew are under the age of 24. The team have only two weeks to put the whole production together and it really was an incredibly admirable effort. 

Georgia Millie Price stars as Annie and like a young Bonnie Langford she oozed charm and had a beaming smile from ear to ear (without which, you're never fully dressed). Belting her way through 'Tomorrow' and softly approaching 'Maybe' Price surely showcased her versatility. If she followed in Langford's footsteps to West End and Broadway, it wouldn't come as a surprise. (Also playing Annie on alternate dates is Katie Davie). 

Also dominating the stage is Katie Gladwin as Miss Hannigan with her powerful vocal 'Little Girls' is one of many highlights. Pepper (Olivia Wicks) and Rooster (Ameil Hart) are a great comedy duo. Richard Batham is a very promising Daddy Warbucks and is joined on stage by Rosie Coles as Grace Farrell who is fine voice throughout her faultless performance. 

Danny who plays dog Sandy is the only member of the cast above the age of 24 (in dog years anyway) and has been a member of the professional tour of Annie for 10 years resulting in him receiving the Guinness World Record for the most performances by a dog in any theatrical show. Danny has starred alongside Lesley Joseph and Su Pollard.

Directed and choreographed by Pollyann Tanner who must not have slept a wink over the past 2 weeks to produce a show of this standard, her work and dedication really reflects in the youngsters on stage. Annie is full of energy, enthusiasm, talent and is honestly of a standard that rivals professional touring productions. Throughly enjoyable and so refreshing to see youngsters with so much passion for something they love doing. The sun may come out tomorrow but please don't wait until then to book a ticket - running until Saturday 24th August 2013, book here.

Cast List: Emily Grace Berry, Emma Bhatti, Katie Davie, Chloe Evans, Phoebe Fletcher, Ellie Gough, Molly Hopkins, Daisy Meade, Olivia Porter, Harriet Millie Price, Naina Reddy, Hannah Swarbrick, Olivia Wicks, Elizabeth Williams, Libby Baskerville, Megan Bird, Kirstie Bowman, Lauren Bowman, Sadie Horton, Brittany Jarman-Watson, Verona-India Braich, Cody Bromley, Bethany Jade Carter, Tanisha Corser, Anya Dupre, Leah Evans, Hermionie Gifford, Jenna Hancock, Ellie Hartley, Lucy-Mae Hill, Courtney Holland, Aurora King-Jones, Chloe Pitt, Jessica Pugliese, Leah Rhodes, Ella Sanders, Kheera Sandhu, Grace Sophie Austin, Kiera Haynes, Nikita Sharma, Sophie Tierney, Phoebe Louise Benson, Hannah Colley, Maisie Paige Ellis, Harriet Gordon, Maisie Lodge, Sophie O'Hara, Teagan Manns, Michaella Panteli, Maisie Robertson, Annie Frances Tabberner, Megan Aldridge, Lauren Barnes, Jasmine Gill, Equiana Givans, Megan Goldby, Lucy Haigh, Emily Miles, Lauren Owen, Molly Phillips, Ellie-May Reilly, Eloise Simpson, Cara Nadine Stuckey, Alisha Twine, Jennifer White, Grant Addis, Thomas Ashen, Gibsa Lee Bah, Elan Butler, Greg Bytheway, Kurran Dhand, Todd Dougan, Charlie Howell, Louie McNally, Alfie Mitcham, Oliver Nicholas, Zachariah Sharif, Lydia Gardiner, Ashley Strain, Sorrel Paris Sutton, Amelia Wallace, Eva Williams, Richard Batham, Rosie Coles, Katie Gladwin, Ameil Hart, Emma Robotham-Hunt, Georgia Millie Price, Nathalie Neill, Thomas Stringer, Hollie Harnes, Chloe Barrett, Shannon Berridge, Joanne Bowman, Thea Butler, Callum Connolly, Frances Corbett, Georgina Curtis, Kirsty Day, Christopher Dover, Felicity Gifford, Leah Ingle, Rebecca Ingram, Taylor Lauren Marshall, Jennifer Reeves, Charlotte Swarbrick, Daniel Taylor, Kimberly Vallance, Lara de Vos, Lucy Williams, Tanya Zero, Jack Booth, Bethan Crisp, Maya Dupre, Emily Burling, Aneira Evans, Chelsea Greathead, Sarahjayne Gibbs, Chloe Gribble, Amy Hollis, Rubi Ingaglia, Emily Lister, Elliot Mann, Joseph Maslin, Jayne Morgan, Jennifer Mortiboy, Kate Mortiboy, Kathryn Nikols, Craig O'Connor, Bradley O'Neill, Michael Reynolds, Lauren Shillingford, Nick Southcott, Amy Louise Stutz, Laura Timothy, Molly Williams.

Technical Project Members: Eleanor Arnot, Corey Baker-Wyatt, Hannah Bruce, peter Davis, Nichola Gray, Erica Groves, Amy Harbach, Ben Hurd-Greenall, Matthew Padbury, Cherry Povall, Oliver Quirke, Luke Stevens, Ella Stewart


  1. Having read this review, I felt confident booking three tickets to see the last production of Annie, for myself and two children. I avidly follow all Scott's theatre blogs, as I believe that he writes detailed, unbiased reviews which honestly reflect the shows. I might not have booked the show, without reading the review. Having seen many productions of Annie over the years, including West End productions, I concur with Scott, that this show did not disappoint. The lead characters were superbly cast and demonstrated very strong skills and the dynamics on stage with such a large cast, were excellent. The visuals of scenery and props were also fabulous. I look forward to reading future reviews to inform me of other shows at the Alexandra Theatre to watch.

  2. Great read. Good to keep up with whats on at the Alex. Me and my daughter like to go often and easily tempted with a great write up. Fantastic show fantastic voices. Wanted to go and see the star Danny after reading how many shows he had done!

  3. Thank-you both for your feedback! Glad you enjoyed the show!!

  4. After reading your review of Annie I decided to by 2 tickets for my daughter and I, and so glad I did. It was an absolutely fantastic show really enjoyed the singing and of cause Sandy.
    Keep up the reviews Scott enjoy reading your thoughts of the shows that are produced in local areas.