Annie Get Your Gun
Spring 1961
Production Officials
Director Doris Hacking and Gladys McDonald
Musical Director J. Arnold Thornton
Cast
Charlie Davenport Ernest Pollitt
Little Boy Michael Lumb
Boy and Girl Ronald Whittaker, Angela Platt
Mac Barry Gadsden
Foster Wilson Keith Richardson
Dolly Tate Joyce Richardson
Winnie Tate Margaret Ogden
Tommy Keeler Derek Fletcher
Frank Butler John E. Hacking
Annie Oakley Christine M. Bellis
Little Jake Maurice Dover
Nellie Rachel M. Dover
Jessie Mary Whittaker
Minnie Stella Monk
Col. William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) Alec Greaves
Mrs Little Horse Bessie Williams
Mrs Black Tooth Eileen Whittle
Trainman Graham Halsall
Waiter William A. Livesey
Porter  David Entwistle
Riding Mistress Pauline Reynolds
Major Gordon Lillie (Pawnee Bill) Michael T. Haslam
Chief Sitting Bull Frank E. Woolley
Indian Chant Robin Foster
Wild Horse Ceremonial Dancer Kevin Taylor
Sylvia Potter Porter Jean Isherwood
Dancing Girls
P. Ainsworth, D. Holt, K. Kay, A. Ogden, P. Reynolds
Dancing Boys
J. Bellis, L. Dickinson, W. Fletcher, R. Foster, K. Taylor
Ladies Of The Chorus
G. Ashmore, A. Bateson, A. Bellis, A. Brookes, M. Crompton, G. Entwistle, S. Entwistle, R. Garstang, E. Hacking, L. Harwood, K. Holt, C.M. Livesey, B. Lucas, M. Mayoh, B. Partington, K. Perrins, M. Slater, B. Tattersall, B. Thomson, E. Whittle, B. Williams
Gentlemen Of The Chorus
J. Bellis, H. Carter, L. Dickinson, D. Entwistle, W. Fletcher, R. Foster, G. Halsall, W.A. Livesey, H. Oakley, K. Richardson, K. Taylor
Bolton Evening News Review
For the first time in the history of the society, the Walmsley Church Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society is staging a modern American musical – “Annie Get Your Gun” – in the school hall this week. I like American musicals – for their colour and immense vitality – so that I invariably look forward with pleasurable anticipation to the presentation of one by any local society. Although the Walmsley group draws its acting members from the village and only occasionally brings in an outsider for a principal part, there is no lack of talent in the society and I can say, without qualification, that this is one of its best productions, principally because of the magnificent team work involved. The whole show was over, interval inclusive, in three hours, which is excellent timing. Musical numbers were handled with vigour by an animated chorus and the orchestra, under the direction of Mr. J. Arnold Thornton, never drowned the singing. The opening scene made an immediate impression of gaiety and exuberance emanating from every individual on the stage and this was sustained throughout to the final curtain. Choreography, under the direction Gladys McDonald, reached a high standard, especially the “Wild Horse Ceremonial Dance” which makes such a colourful and exhilarating climax to the first act. Of the many familiar and well-loved musical favourites, my own particular favourites were Annie’s solos “Doin’ What Comes Naturally” (which incidentally received a well-deserved encore), “You Can’t Get The Man With A Gun”, “Sun In The Mornin’” and “Show Business” (sung by an all-male trio). As in all American shows, a high standard of dramatic acting was called for from the cast. Obviously, the success of this show depends to a great extent upon the acting and singing ability of Annie and Frank, but the smaller principal roles can also help to either make or mar the show. I have seen this musical partially spoiled by an inadequate Buffalo Bill and Chief Sitting Bull, but this was not the case at Walmsley. The star of the show was undoubtedly Christine Bellis, who has proved her worth in the society’s dramatic productions in the past, and now establishes herself as a talented musical comedy actress. Her diction was clearly audible at the back of the large hall, whether she was speaking or singing, and it is obvious that much hard work and effort has gone into her delightful interpretation of the part. John E. Hacking as Frank Butler was well suited to the part – which calls for striking physical appearance and a casual style of playing – and all his solo numbers are put across with expression and feeling. Of the other principal players, Ernest Pollitt, Keith Richardson, Alec Greaves, Frank Woolley (a singularly impressive figure), Margaret Ogden and Derek Fletcher are those which stand out from the rest. Costumes and scenic effects add to the general spectacle, and my only suggestion for improving the show would be for the principals and back stage staff to come to a decision about the gun shooting episode which caused some amusement among the audience when shots failed to synchronise. Credit for this excellent production goes to Doris Hacking and Gladys McDonald.
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