Harrowby Singers to stage Annie Get Your Gun at Grantham Guildhall

Harrowby Singers Rehearsal. Keith Harris, Laura Bawling, Steve Sale. 1033D EMN-140318-095937001
Harrowby Singers Rehearsal. Keith Harris, Laura Bawling, Steve Sale. 1033D EMN-140318-095937001
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The latest production by Grantham’s Harrowby Singers has a surefire, winning formula.

Annie Get Your Gun, being staged at The Guildhall Arts Centre from Wednesday to Saturday, March 26 to 29, is loved by audiences for its well known, upbeat songs, romantic storyline and amusing characters.

And it is a popular choice with amateur drama groups as well, because it provides a challenge for a large cast and is great fun to stage.

Laura Bowling, who takes her second successive lead role for the Singers as gun-totting Annie Oakley, says everthing is set for a great show.

She said: “Annie Get Your Gun is popular with audiences and players alike, partly because it has so many fantastic songs, which people will recogise.

“It is a very musical show, with 15 numbers, almost twice as many as in our last production, The Wizard of OZ.

“That means there are lots of songs to learn and lots of words, some of which are quite difficult to sing, so it is a real test for all the cast.

“Still, we are fully rehearsed now and ready to go. It should be a great show.”

Twenty-seven-year-old Laura has been with the Harrowby Singers for only about three years, but some cast members recall performing the show when it was last performedby the group in 1996.

Some minor alterations have been made to the current production, directed by Wendy Biggs with musical direction by Paul Emmett, which showcases the talents of Laura and co-star Steve Sale, as Frank Butler.

Sing-a-long highlights include Anything You Can Do, No Business Like Showbusiness, Can’t Get a Man with a Gun, and They say It’s Wonderful.

Annie get Your Gun is based on the story of Annie Oakley, a champion sharp shooter with Buffalo Bill’s travelling Wild West show. The naive Annie falls for her co-star Butler, but her affection is not immediately returned.

Laura, who works as an office department manager in Grantham, said: “It’s a fun, upbeat show with plenty of chances for the audience to get involved.

“It’s also very funny, and will appeal to everybody.”

Other characters include Charlie Davenport (Len Batey), Dolly Tate (Becca Sale), Bufflao Bill (Keith Harris), Foster Wilson (Richard Biggs), Pawnee Bill (Daniel Poole) and Sitting Bull (Roy Clarke).

Performances are 7.30pm Wednesday to Friday and 2.30pm and 7.30pm Saturday. Tickets are available from the Guildhall box office (prices vary).