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Jason Donovan stars in Annie Get Your Gun - New Wimbledon Theatre and on tour

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE producers of the recent Barbican production of South Pacific and the Sadler’s Wells production of West Side Story are presenting a major new production of Annie Get Your Gun.

This Tony Award-winning version of Irving Berlin’s classic musical, starring Emma Williams as Annie Oakley, Jason Donovan as Frank Butler and Norman Pace as Buffalo Bill, will visit New Wimbledon Theatre (September 9 to September 13, 2014) as part of a UK tour.

With timeless classic songs including There’s No Business Like Show Business and Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better, Annie Get Your Gun tells the legendary story of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West female sharpshooter, Annie Oakley and her romance with fellow sharpshooter, Frank Butler.

When Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show comes to town, it only takes one glance for sharp-shooting country girl Annie Oakley to fall head over heels for its star marksman, Frank Butler. Both have truly met their match, revealing their competitive natures as they vie for best shot – and each other’s hearts.

A star of stage and screen, Jason Donovan has performed on the musical theatre stage across the globe. His credits include Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Sound of Music, War of the Worlds and Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

He said: “I’ve been very lucky in having some great roles to get my teeth into in the past, 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.”

Emma Williams is the twice Olivier nominated star of Chitty, Chitty, Bang Bang and Love Story, whose other credits include Zorro, Sunset Boulevard and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

She said: “I’m thrilled to be playing the legendary Annie Oakley alongside Jason and Norman, and performing iconic songs such as Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better and You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun. 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 to be Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly!

Norman Pace’s theatre credits include Breakfast With Jonny Wilkinson and Charley’s Aunt (Menier Chocolate Factory), Dry Rot (UK tour), Donkeys’ Years (Comedy Theatre), Chicago (Adelphi Theatre) and Honk (National Theatre). As one half of the comedy duo Hale and Pace, he’s well known for his many comedy television series.

He said: “I can’t wait to get out on the stage and play Buffalo Bill alongside Jason Donovan and Emma Williams, with a script and songs written by the legendary Irving Berlin. Even though it’s nearly 70 years since the show was first performed on Broadway, there’s still a real sense of fun and excitement to a timeless production that I’m very honoured to be a part of.”

As part of The Ambassador Theatre Group’s ‘Manchester Gets It First’ initiative, this production will receive its premiere at Manchester Opera House on May 12, 2014, before touring to Sunderland, Stoke, Edinburgh, Oxford, Birmingham, Bromley, Aylesbury, Malvern, Liverpool, Woking, Bournemouth, Brighton, Glasgow, Wimbledon, Aberdeen and Torquay.