Annie show hits the target at Sheringham

Annie Get Your Gun

Sheringham Little Theatre

You can't beat a rootin', tootin', singin' and shootin' wild west musical when it comes to raising the spirits.

And this show sure does y'all, sending audiences away with smiles on their face and songs in their heads.

This is the second of the venue's community musicals aimed at getting young people into 'am drams' and providing seed corn for other local stage societies.

And just like Annie herself it is bang on target.

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Interest was so high the show has two casts of 40 youngsters, alternating performances, around a core of more experienced adults.

I saw the one manned by The Tumblers, with Cora O'Connell putting plenty of verve into the sassy tom boy title role, alongside James Sadler as sharpshooter Frank Butler in both casts.

There are some cameo roles that take the eye too, including Olly Westlake as showman Charlie Davenport, Daisy Kerry as urchin boy Little Jake, and Daisy Winchester as Dolly Tate.

But I am reliably informed the other cast, the Roustabouts, is just as good - following the mantra of the show's song Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better.

The action and large cast are cleverly squeezed on to the small stage by director Simon Thompson and choregrapher Michelle Thompson, and there is even space for a six-piece orchestra.

And there are hopes the production will match the �10,000 generated by last year's Oliver for the theatre's Stars refurbishment fund.

Maybe some of the singing is not quite as sharp as Annie and Frank's shooting, but look around the whole cast and you see youngsters enjoying the discovery that there really is No Business Like Showbusiness and that's good news for local am drams in the coming years.

Richard Batson

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