What a pleasure it was to travel to Sheffield Crucible to see this new, 5* production of Annie Get Your Gun with its superbly tuneful, wonderfully witty score by Irving Berlin.
The show is blessed with a freshness, charm and humour that are completely captivating, as well as one of the greatest collections of songs in the history of musical theatre. Berlin’s tunes and lyrics have embedded themselves into the public’s consciousness. Annie Get Your Gun contains a mind-boggling array of beloved and delightful as ever standards. Including There’s No Business Like Show Business, which sums up the entire process of putting on a theatre performance. In this performance it’s’ an acapella version that starts the show from the back of the auditorium and the spotlight follows Frank onto the stage through the audience
Still deliciously fresh, sweet and funny seven decades after its premiere Annie Oakley and Frank Butler, find their love for each other undermined by professional rivalry. It’s hilariously encapsulated in one of the show’s most famous songs, Anything You Can Do. Other hits include Doing What Comes Natur’lly, The Girl that I Marry and the beautiful love song I Got Lost in His Arms
Anna Jane Casey as Annie Oakley is a pocket rocket phenomenon, a sophisticated performer, the twang in her voice is very much American and you’d never guess she was from Lancashire.
Frank Butler. Ben Lewis, is very much a dashing he-man who can make you understand Annie’s comic love at first sight near-swoon.
With a huge cast of 22 adults and 3 children it would be hard to mention everyone but mention must be made to Maggie Service as Dolly Tate the demon spinster and Frank Butler’s assistant – she spends most of the show in very little but with some amazing legs – and Lauren Hall as her underaged kid sister Winnie add much to the comic and musical pleasures of the production. Cleve September as Winnie’s half-Indian boyfriend is one of the show’s outstanding stars and the romance between the two is an interesting side story. Nicolas Colicos is fabulous as Buffalo Bill; Timothy Quinlan his canny business adviser Charlie Davenport and Karl Seth’s nicely judged Chief Sitting Bull
With Laura Hopkins’ set designs, Alistair David’s vivid choreography and Paul Herbert’s Musical Direction all under the direction of Paul Foster combines for a truly magnificent show. Already extended until 21st January – this is a show not to be missed