New Animal Farm musical to make premiere at Birmingham Hippodrome

A unique musical theatre adaptation of George Orwell’s renowned novel Animal Farm is to make its premiere in Birmingham.

This fresh interpretation, produced by the British Youth Music Theatre (BYMT), runs 5 – 7 April 2024 at the Birmingham Hippodrome.

It promises a folk-inspired twist on the classic tale, resonating with contemporary themes like fake news, cancel culture, and the suppression of free speech.

The story, a timeless satirical and political allegory, follows a group of animals who overthrow their human farmer in pursuit of equality, freedom, and happiness. However, their dream quickly turns sour as they find themselves under a new tyranny, led by one of their own – a pig. Written in the 1940s, Orwell’s exploration of power, corruption, and misinformation remains strikingly relevant in today’s world.

This ambitious project is led by a talented creative team. Ellie Jones, known for her work on Macbeth with the Royal Shakespeare Company, serves as the director and co-writer. She is joined by Josh Kemp, acclaimed for his work on Educating Yorkshire at Square Chapel, who contributes as a writer, composer, and lyricist. Tom Ling, known for current West End hit The Little Big Things musical, also joins as a lyricist.

The production, a reflection of BYMT’s reputation as the UK’s foremost developer of new musicals, will feature young actors and musicians from across the country and beyond.

Writer and Director Ellie Jones sad: “By replacing Communism with Capitalism we watch the animals play out our world’s current ideology to what seems to be its inevitable divisive and destructive conclusion. Who better to ask the question, ‘what role in this do we want to play’ than the next generation? A generation that don’t have to be sheep or bow down to the notion that the only way to win is to put the self before the herd. A generation with the opportunity to make change.”

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About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.