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Pippin Review Menier Chocolate Factory

We usually try to get to see a show early in its run but a very Pippin at Menier Chocolate Factory February 2012busy schedule over the past few weeks meant that our visit to see Pippin came fairly late. The show concludes on 25th February, 2012.  In some ways I wish we had seen it sooner, as we may have gone to see it again; but close to the end of the run, the cast are likely to be at their peak, so all is good!

Pippin first hit Broadway in 1972 and the West End in 1973, so it has been around for quite a while. This production has been updated to be modernistic in its style, with the use of technology a significant feature. I was tempted to write that the style was futuristic, but then thought actually this is life now!

Technology has caught up with us at a rapid rate and continues to progress at a high speed.

Pippin provides us with a window into our modern world: In this coming-of-age story, Pippin, heir to the throne of Charlemagne, ventures on a quest of self-discovery, but in doing so our hero must face the uncertain worlds of warfare, love, politics and religion.“

The high quality team that has put Pippin together:

Music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (composer of Wicked and Godspell) and book by Roger O. Hirson, Directed and choreographed, incorporating Bob Fosse’s original Tony Award-winning routines, by Mitch Sebastian.

This show is different to anything that I have seen in the West End, and it does need a leap of faith to run with it. If you can do that then you will love it!

Given that Pippin is modernistic I thought I would write a ‘review’ in snippets of 140 characters or less to suit those that may wish to Tweet!


@Pippin The storyline is now: or possibly in the future if you struggle to keep pace with technology! Pippin is a young man finding his way.

@Pippin From playing on his bedroom computer Pippin enters a computer world where he becomes the heir to the throne of Charlemagne….

@Pippin he ventures on a quest of self-discovery, and must face many uncertain worlds of warfare, love, politics and religion…

@Pippin At the start of Act 1 I really wasn’t too sure what to expect but by the end of Act 2: it was excellent and a night to remember!

@Pippin Anyone who goes to see the show should be willing to accept the technological world they live in, embrace it and enjoy the journey!

@Pippin Pippin was a very enjoyable night out! It is different! There are some super songs and great choreography. West End next?


@Pippin Harry Hepple is brilliant as Pippin, and his rendition of Corner of the Sky is superb! I have not found a better recording online!

@Pippin Matt Hawle is excellent as the Leading Player. He engages the audience and leads them through the story. A fabulous singing voice!

@Pippin Ian Kelsey portrays the character of the king extremely well. His dialogue is superbly delivered and with added humour is excellent!

@Pippin David Page is outstanding as Lewis: A strong stage presence with very good vocal delivery of dialogue & song plus great choreography

@Pippin Frances Ruffelle is superb as Fastrada: She depicts the various aspects of her character very well from subservient wife to schemer!

@Pippin There is no doubt that Louise Gold captures the audience as Berthe the lovable Gran: some catchy singing and great sense of humour!

@Pippin Carly Bawden shines brightly in the Second Act as Catherine: She not only enchants Pippin but the audience too. Lovely performance!

@Pippin Stuart Neal plays the part of Catherine’s son Theo and he depicts the character very well. Anyone with a pet duck is okay by me!

@Pippin The ensemble are extremely talented and helped make this a super show to watch: The vocals and choreography really were first class!


@Pippin The creative team have re-produced Pippin in a way that is wondrous, daring and ingenious: The use of technology is excellent!

@Pippin The music is outstanding! Someone should consider a new cast recording as some of the songs are better than what is out there!

@londontheatre1 Pippin @MenChocFactory will take you to the doorway that will lead you into a realm of fantasy and more! Dare you enter?

Menier Chocolate Factory
51-53 Southwark Street

Friday, 17th February, 2012

One Comment

  1. Dear,
    Great review which perfectly translates the excitement I experienced. Saw the show yesterday. Didn’t know what to expect and I was completely blown away. The video design is awesome, the cast interpretation is world class. This production clearly belongs to the west end league even if it’s officially labelled as a fringe / off west end endeavour. If there were more positive reviews like yours, it would certainly be transferred to the West End, in the footsteps of other Menier Chocolate Factory productions. It’s not easy to be innovative these days ;-)
    Kudos to the production team !

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