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

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - ON 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 at­gtick­ /ayles­bury or by calling 0844 871 7607.

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