Get your one wild gun and get a seat for show coming to town
A well-known musical is set to take a shot at wowing audiences in Bucks this week. Camilla Goodman speaks to the stars about the show
HE Wild West will come to a Bucks theatre this week when a hit musical rolls into town.
Irving Berlin’s classic musical Annie Get Your Gun, starring Jason Donovan, Emma Williams and Norman Pace came to Aylesbury Waterside Theatre on Tuesday as part of its UK tour and runs until Saturday.
When Buffalo Bill’s (Norman Pace) Wild West show comes to town, it only takes one glance for sharpshooting country girl Annie Oakley (Emman Williams) to fall head over heels for its star marksman, Frank Butler (Jason Donovan). Both have truly met their match, revealing their competitive natures as they vie for best shot – and each other’s hearts.
The show features well-known hits such as There’s No Business Like Show Business, Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better and Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly, led by a live grand orchestra.
Australian heartthrob Jason Donovan, who first found fame in Australian soap Neighbours, plays Frank Butler, the Wild West show’s handsome and womanising star who challenges anyone in town to a shooting match.
“I’ve been very lucky in having some great roles to get my teeth into in the past,” Jason said. “But now having the chance to star in the UK premiere production of this award winning version of such a classic musical is very exciting.
“I’m very much looking forward to performing such brilliant songs and appearing alongside a truly great cast as we bring the Wild West to theatres across the country.”
West End leading lady Emma Williams, who appeared in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, plays Annie Oakley, a sharpshooter who challenges Frank and instantly falls in love with him. Her shooting skills soon make her a star, which jeopardises her relationship with Frank. Will they live happily ever after, or will their egos get in the way?
Emma said: “I’m thrilled to be
Tplaying the legendary Annie Oakley alongside Jason and Norman, and performing iconic songs.
“Annie Oakley has been played by so many incredible actresses before that it’s a privilege to fill those cowgirl boots, and I couldn’t be more excited.”
Playing the West End show’s owner Buffalo Bill is actor and comedian Norman Pace, best known as one half of the comedy duo Hale and Pace with his friend and comic partner Gareth Hale.
Norman is no stranger to musical theatre and was in the West End’s Chicago.
Speaking about how the show is going, Norman said: “It’s going really well and it’s been very well received. Every single person who’s seen it hasn’t said a bad word about it, it just pleases everyone. It’s a great fun show with fantastic tunes in it and some great acting and singing, apart from me.” I am sure that is not true Norman. Norman’s character Buffalo Bill is based on a real life person who lived in the 19th century.
“I’ll have to give you the spiel on him because I’m very proud of him,” Norman explained. “He believed in equal opportunities, he felt any woman or person of any race who could do just a good a job as a white male should be paid equally. He was ahead of his time. There’s an element of that in the show, but it’s not over-egged. He’s a nice guy and looks after everyone. He’s very different to me,” Norman joked. “He’s full of gags and is an interesting man to play.”
Norman said: “They are killer songs! The show is 70 years old and everyone knows the ones such as There’s No Business Like Show Business and Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better. So many people don’t realise there are so many well-known songs in the show and they’re beautifully put together. There’s a strong musical score throughout, and it is funny night out and most of all there’s a love story, everyone loves a love story.”
However, the love story does not run smoothly. I asked Norman if this is because Frank and Annie are stubborn.
“Stubborn is the word, you’ve put your finger on it,” Norman said. “If it was just a straightforward boy meets girl and they happily ever after it would make it too boring and people would leave after five minutes.”
Norman is urging people to come and see the show.
He added: “If you fancy a night out full of great music, a great laugh and a heartbreaking story then you’ll certainly love this show.”
Annie Get Your Gun is at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre until Saturday (July 26).
Performances will be at 7.30pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.
Tickets cost between £20 and £42.50 and can be bought online at www.atgtickets.com /aylesbury or by calling 0844 871 7607.