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Harpenden operatic society on target with Annie

PUBLISHED: 15:45 08 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:30 06 May 2010

WITH holsters at the ready, Harpenden Light Operatic Society is putting on Annie Get Your Gun in the town this week. The musical extravaganza is based on the true story of the young, uneducated and poor Annie Oakley, who emerges as the best local marksman

WITH holsters at the ready, Harpenden Light Operatic Society is putting on Annie Get Your Gun in the town this week.

The musical extravaganza is based on the true story of the young, uneducated and poor Annie Oakley, who emerges as the best local marksman when sharp shooter Frank Butler comes to town.

She falls in love with Frank but Annie is not his idea of what a wife should be - and it is his pride which is at the heart of the story.

Jointly directed by Iain Fowles and Sam Gaines, the musical director for the show is Graham Thomson and it features such hit songs as There's No Business Like Show Business, They Say It's Wonderful and Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better.

The real Annie Oakley was born in 1860 and had a poor upbringing but she learned to shoot by hunting for her family.

Her shooting skills were discovered at an early age and she joined a Wild West Show, performing for Queen Victoria and other heads of state. She continued setting shooting records into her sixties and pursued extensive activities for women's rights and other causes. She died at the age of 66.

Emma Barry is playing Annie in her third show with the society. She first appeared aged 11 as Orphan Annie in the show Annie and played Bet in Oliver this March.

Emma has also appeared in pantomime at the Watford Palace Theatre and is a keen musician who is a pupil at St Albans High School and has attended the Stagecoach Theatre Arts School in Watford since she was four.

Sam Gaines takes the role of Frank Butler - the third generation of his family to be involved with the society. He has played many parts, been a member of many choruses and been in many backstage crews over the last few years, working with societies in Watford, St Albans, Berkhamsted and Hertford.

Annie Get Your Gun runs until Saturday at Harpenden Public Halls and performances start at 7.45pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. Tickets are available from the box office on 01582 624147 and further details can be found on the website www.harpenden-operatic.co.uk

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