Annie Oakley – Emma Williams
Frank Butler – Jason Donovan
Buffalo Bill – Norman Pace
Dolly – Kara Lane
Charlie – William Oxborrow
Tommy – Yiftach Mizrahi
Winnie – Lorna Want
There’s no business like show business …
Annie Get Your Gun is very much a love story between Annie Oakley and Frank Butler. It goes wrong at times but what good love story doesn’t? Especially if show business is involved. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show is behind it all as when that comes to town and Annie goes up against Frank in a shoot off and wins everything changes for her. She travels around the show and everything seemed to be falling in place when she decided to surprise Frank with a new part of the act, unfortunately he cannot take her being more loved and better than him, so he leaves!
The songs are very catchy and we have ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business’ throughout the show at different times it keeps popping up just to remind us that’s what it’s all about. I was certainly waiting for ‘Anything you can do I can do better’ which is certainly worth the wait when we get to it. It really is done in a fantastic way and will make you want to sing along whilst routing for Annie.
Jason Donovan, who is still very much a household name takes on the role of Frank and has brilliant stage presence even if his voice is not as powerful as it used to be. Some of the songs he needed a little bit more than he was producing to really get the notes and emotion out of the songs. I’m not saying he was terrible as I really did enjoy his performance and thought the chemistry between Donovan was very believable.
But let’s face it the show is all about Annie, so therefore Emma Williams who is incredible from the first time she steps onto the stage until taking the last bow at the end. She has an incredible voice and is lovely to listen to in what must be a very difficult role to take on. Some of the songs and the way she speaks must really take some getting right. You cannot help but route for Annie throughout the show and that is brought on even more by Williams’ performance. Such a joy to watch and holding that note in ‘Anything you can do I can do better’ was brilliant and throughly deserved a loud cheer and clap from the audience.
I don’t want to go into every single scene and song but it really is a lot of fun at the theatre, it will make you happy and has some very touching moments for the different characters as well, with a couple of love songs thrown in as well. You will be leaving the theatre singing ‘theres no business like show business’ and that will continue for the rest of the day/night that is for sure.
The show is currently touring around the UK as Sunderland was only the second venue, so get out and catch it as it comes to a theatre near you. It is a brilliant time spent watching a very enjoyable show with some brilliant performances, you will probably know more songs than you realise as well. Each as catchy as the next, it really is a well put together show. For more dates here.