Pupils ‘hit their stride’ in musical

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There’s no business like show business for Dunstan High School pupils who will perform the classic Irving Berlin musical Annie Get Your Gun

Taking a big role in the musical is year 11 pupil Emma Hutton (15), who is choreographing the show.

“I was very honoured to be asked. I was very excited about it but I was freaked out at the start, but it’s all come together quite well now.”

“I got my inspiration from the songs and the very western scenes,” Miss Hutton said.

“I hadn’t heard of the musical before, but I was really excited when I researched and found out more about what we were doing.”

There was a western theme to the dancing, with a bit of jazz and a bit of ballet, Miss Hutton said.

Director Nick Meissel said in his musicals he liked to seek out a pupil who was mature and had a good head on their shoulders who had the ability to take on the role.

“We are really lucky to have Emma – she has done really well,” Mr Meissel said.

People might not know the songs were from the show, but they would recognise them when they heard them, he said.

“They’ll come along and go ‘oh, I know that song, I know that song too, oh, I’ve heard that one before’– it’s a trip down memory lane,” he said.

Lotte Rayner played Annie and Tim Shaw played Frank Butler, Mr Meissel said.

“They are a couple that are pulled together by passion; they are both passionate, fiery characters.”

“The journey throughout the story that we see is quite a rollercoaster,” he said.

“Everything is hinging off these two characters, and the rest of the cast feeds off that, so those two leads are doing a fabulous job.

Of the cast, Mr Meissel said it had been challenging for some “but I really think they are beginning to hit their stride now”.

Musical director Bronwyn Barnes, said the musical was first performed in 1946, but the school was using the 1999 revival version.

“It is quite a departure from what we have done in the last wee while actually. We’ve gone for more contemporary musicals lately,” Mrs Barnes said.

“To go back to something that’s got a great story, great music that has stood the test of time is quite fun.”

Annie Get Your Gun is being performed from May 17 to 19 at the Alexandra Memorial Theatre.