Horrocks and Ovenden to Star in Young Vic Revival of Annie Get Your Gun

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05 Jun 2009

Jane Horrocks
Jane Horrocks
Photo by Jeff Vespa
Jane Horrocks and Julian Ovenden will head the cast of a new production of the classic 1946 Irving Berlin musical Annie Get Your Gun, which will begin performances at London's Young Vic Theatre Oct. 3 prior to an official opening Oct. 16. The production will run through Jan. 2, 2010.

Richard Jones, whose Broadway credits include La Bête in 1991, Titanic in 1997 and Wrong Mountain in 2000, will direct.

The production will be designed by Ultz with costumes by Nicky Gillibrand, arrangements by Jason Carr, choreography by Phillipe Giradeau and lighting by Mimi Jordan Sherrin.

Also so far cast are Buffy Davis, John Marquez, Liza Sadovy and Eric MacLennan.

The show, which has a score by Berlin, with a book by Herbert and Dorothy Fields, was last revived on Broadway in 1999 starring Bernadette Peters, but was seen in a fringe production at London's Union Theatre last year and before that in revivals at the Aldwych Theatre in 1986 (starring Suzi Quatro and Eric Flynn) and the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1992 (Kim Criswell, John Diedrich).



According to a report in London's Daily Mail, Jones is seeking permission from those who control the Irving Berlin estate to change the book to update it for the new century. Baz Bamigboye states, "Jones has asked writer April De Angelis [currently represented in London by the world premiere of her play Amongst Friends, running at Hampstead Theatre through June 13] to come up with new ideas so they can be submitted to the rights holders." He adds that the idea is to re-set Annie Get Your Gun to the year it was written, 1946.

The show is a fictionalized version of the life story of Annie Oakley (who actually lived 1860-1926), a sharpshooter from Ohio, and her husband Frank Butler. Horrocks, who will play the title role, has previously appeared at the Young Vic in Jones' production of The Good Soul of Szechuan in 2008. She is best-known onstage for creating the role of Little Voice in Jim Cartwright's 1992 play The Rise and Fall of Little Voice that premiered at the National Theatre before transferring to the West End, directed by Sam Mendes, and subsequently re-creating her performance in the 1998 film version, for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe Best Actress Award; she was also the original Sally Bowles in Sam Mendes' 1994 production of Cabaret at the Donmar Warehouse. She is currently starring as Lemon in the Royal Court's revival of Wallace Shawn's Aunt Dan and Lemon (running through June 27). Other stage roles include several appearances at Hampstead, the Bush, and Greenwich Theatres; she has also been seen in the West End in Sweet Panic (2003) and Absurd Person Singular (2007).

Julian Ovenden, who will play Frank Butler, was last seen in the West End in the musical Marguerite by Michel Legrand, Alain Boubil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer and Jonathan Kent that ran at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket in 2008. He has also appeared on the London stage in the Donmar Warehouse's productions of Merrily We Roll Along in 2000, and Grand Hotel in 2004, both directed by Michael Grandage; on Broadway, he was seen in the 2006 revival of Simon Gray's Butley. On TV, he has been seen in the U.K. series "Foyle's War" and "The Royal," and he has had roles in U.S. television in "Related" and "Cashmere Mafia."

Booking opens on June 15 for Friends of the Young Vic and on June 29 for the general public. To book contact the box office at 020 7922 2922 or visit www.youngvic.org.