The Young Vic's production of Annie Get Your Gun has had mixed reviews. Personally I wouldn't have gone to see it were it not for the leads - Jane Horrocks isn't to everyone's taste but I like her; and after getting his understudy in Marguerite I wanted another chance to catch Julian Ovenden on stage. These two, and in fact all the cast, save the evening as they seem to be having fun and it's infectious; to start with the tweeness of the dialogue and songs grated on me, but the performances gradually made me warm to the show. While Richard Jones' updating of the action to the 1940s doesn't make any sense (and a video segment where Annie gets given a medal by Hitler falls flat on its arse) for the most part the gimmick doesn't interfere too much. I've seen some criticism of Ultz's set, which is very wide but shallow, and it does occasionally look a bit crowded, which is weird in a space like the Young Vic which can have such a deep stage when it wants to. It also means there's almost no choreography, which is odd in a show like this. But Horrocks is her usual kooky self and Ovenden is a hot leading man in very tight jeans (he dresses to the right.) But if you want to see his only topless scene don't sit too near the stage - you need to be about 3-4 rows back. Er, and there we have it.
Annie Get Your Gun by Irving Berlin, Herbert & Dorothy Fields is booking until the 2nd of January at the Young Vic.