Sheffield Theatres have announced casting for Paul Foster’s new revival of Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun. Sharp shootin’, smart talkin’ Annie Oakley is a force to be reckoned with. But when she’s pitched against the charming, fiercely competitive Frank Butler, has she finally met her match? Anna-Jane Casey stars as Annie Oakley and Ben Lewis as Frank Butler, with Nicolas Colicos (Buffalo Bill), Mike Denman (Pawnee Bill), Lauren Hall (Winnie Tate), Matthew Malthouse (Foster Wilson), Timothy Quinlan (Charlie Davenport), Cleve September (Tommy Keeler), Maggie Service (Dolly Tate), Karl Seth (Chief Sitting Bull), and completing the ensemble, Josh Andrews, Ronan Burns, Emma Caffrey, Matthew Croke, Omari Douglas, Rosie Fletcher, Melissa James, Jasmine Kerr, Natasha Mould, Jak Skelly, Leah West and Emma Woods (ensemble and Dance Captain). Originally written for Broadway legend Ethel Merman, Irving Berlin’s score is considered a classic, featuring songs including There’s No Business Like Show Business, Anything … Read more
Flowers For Mrs Harris Sheffield Crucible Theatre 3 Stars The new musical Flowers for Mrs Harris, recently enjoyed its world premiere season at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. It also brought to a close Daniel Evans’ tenure as Artistic Director after seven years, before he takes up his new position at Chicester. Evans undoubtedly leaves on a high. Richard Taylor and Rachel Wagstaff have worked to adapt the story of a woman who ultimately wants to be loved and acknowledged. Whilst she has a best friend, we learn her husband died during World War II and the country is in the midst of austerity. She works tirelessly to help others but one day decides that she wants something for herself. Without giving too much away, her final destination is Christian Dior’s store in Paris. Her journey is more than her trip to Paris though; it is about finding contentment in … Read more
Ball is an exceptional, utterly convincing Mack. He completely gets under the skin of the character, finding precisely the right level to pitch every moment of anger, driven determination, and offhand callousness. The passion for making comedy films that can see people of any race and creed laugh in any place on the planet is the backbone of Ball’s characterisation. He is entirely unsentimental in his delivery and never seeks the approval of the audience. Musically, Ball is exceptional. He uses his big, bright voice deftly, producing clear, strong notes, ringing phrases of great colour, and perfectly supported passages of soft and delicate singing
On the strength of this first, tentative outing, concerts like this could come to rival those staged in the Encores! series in New York or by the Production Company in Australia. Jonathan Groff was truly terrific – and one was left wanting to see him headline a full scale production of this show, with Cynthia Erivo and Hannah Waddingham (and Amy Ellen Richardson) by his side.
Ria Jones is the real deal, a generous performer of true skill and intelligence. She has that impressive ability to summon up a mood, an atmosphere, with a simple turn of the head or a bittersweet smile. If you want to have good fun, enjoy some superb musicianship, and remind yourself of a time when Broadway tunes routinely became a part of the fabric of life, this is an opportunity not to be let pass you by.