Superb Annie is what comes natur’lly

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Hawick Amateur Operatic Society staged Annie Get Your Gun way back in 1959.

Since then the Hawick company has put on many a show. Countless songs have been sung, countless dance routines performed and countless principles and chorus members have graced Hawick Town Hall.

Hawick Opera. 'Annie get Your Gun'.

Hawick Opera. 'Annie get Your Gun'.

Following a break of more than half a century however, Annie is back in town.

What’s more this Irving Berlin musical is back with a bang. For thanks to the sharp shooting direction of producer Brian McGlasson, who has choreographer Anne Anderson and musical director Derek Calder riding shotgun with him, Annie Get Your Gun has been blasting away Hawick audiences throughout this week.

This trio has done a lot of trail-blazing over the years in the Border amateur operatic scene and they have hit the winning trail in an explosive Hawick production.

Fast-paced and action-packed Annie Get Your Gun, which was updated in 1999, is a delightful romantic comedy tale of Annie Oakley who wins fame in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, as well as having a rough and tumble romance with the dashing Frank Butler.

In her first major role, Janie Mallin is just superb as heroine Annie. Janie puts absolutely everything into her part and just like the gun-firing Annie, she hits the target in all she does.

Janie not only excels with her singing numbers but also shines with her acting, and she captures the part of her colourful character with a great zest and exuberance. A star Janie certainly is.

Firing from the same top-notch gun is Merijin Schepens as the womanising Frank Butler. Making his Hawick stage debut, Merijin who is from the Netherlands but now lives and works in Hawick, is the perfect leading man.

Apart from having the charismatic appeal that his part needs, Merijin has a great singing voice. He opens the show with his rendering of There’s No Business Like Show Business and from here on he has the audience captivated with his every stage entrance.

This rootin’ tootin’ show has many others who deserve the plaudits to the full as well. None more so than Amanda Blacklock who is a gem in her own right, in giving a dazzling performance as Dolly Tate.

Emerging from the same mould is Kevin Sykes. Kevin breezes through his role of Charlie Davenport and seems to enjoy his part as much as the audience do watching him.

Natalie Paterson (Winnie Tate) and Ross Aitkin (Tommy Keeler) have a great stage chemistry between them and blend splendidly as the young lovers with great enchantment.

Former super-heavyweight boxer, David Paterson (Sitting Bull) is a knockout. Indeed you could not wish to see a better chief than big David.

Iain Scott (Buffalo Bill), Billy Rooney (Foster Wilson) and Steven Law (Pawnee Bill) are others who star.

Also featuring highly are the performances of the children in the show.

Connie Lothian and Shanni Murphy (Jessie), Abbie McCaughey and Eildh Murray (Nellie) and Ben McCredie and Nikki Stavert (Little Jake), the young siblings of Annie are delights.

The show has many top numbers such as You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun, My Defences are Down and Anything You 
Can Do.

Overall, from its singing and dancing to its lavish colourful costumes and to the magnificent music from a great orchestra, Annie Get Your Gun is a fun-filled enjoyable musical romp.