Annie Get Your Gun (Tour-Bournemouth Pavilion)

The cast make the show, but Annie Get Your Gun won’t last long in the memory

Jonathan WIlkes (Frank Butler) and Emma Williams (Annie Oakley) in Annie Get Your Gun
Jonathan WIlkes (Frank Butler) and Emma Williams (Annie Oakley) in Annie Get Your Gun

I remember seeing the film ages ago and never felt the need to see it again. Watching this new touring production reminded me why. You can tell the quality level of the score when the orchestra endlessly strikes up There's no business like Showbusiness. Apart from this tune and Anything you can do, the music isn’t that memorable.

The story about Annie Oakley’s rise and her rivalry with Frank Butler is a basic one, and the inclusion of additional characters and sub-plots feels half-baked at times. Yiftach Mizrahi and Lorna Want are delightful as the lovers Tommy and Winnie but they are barely seen. Kara Lane has some moments as Frank Butler’s love rival Dolly, but the resolution of her storyline was baffling.

The cast was enthusiastic to say the least, though I think the energy got lost in the Pavilion Theatre. In the end though it was the leads who got the biggest cheers. Emma Williams portrays Annie’s development well and the banter between her and Jonathan Wilkes was entertaining. The highlight comes when they sing Anything you can do, and at one point Williams brings the house down.

Once you get past the big top, the orchestra that takes up the back of the stage, and the one circus act in this, the production values are pretty cheap. A lot of the scenes are created using boxes and a lot of the cast have only one costume for the whole show.

Overall it is the cast who make this show enjoyable for all its other shortcomings. This isn’t a musical I will remember in a hurry, but it is worth a good night out for the family.

Annie Get Your Gun plays at Bournemouth Pavilion to the 23rd August before touring to Brighton, Glasgow and Wimbledon until the 13th September