This week, the Orchard Theatre plays host to the Dartford Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (DAODS) and their production of Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun. Established in 1906, DAODS have over 200 musicals, plays and revues to their name – not to mention some pretty high profile former members, among them West End stars Lara Pulver and Rebecca Thornhill – and they’re showing no sign of slowing down any time soon.
Annie Get Your Gun, which first opened on Broadway in 1946, tells the story of Annie Oakley, the best shot around, who’s discovered by Colonel Buffalo Bill and persuaded to join his Wild West Show. She soon falls for the dashing Frank Butler, but can their romance survive when she outshines him professionally, or will his bruised ego prove too much of an obstacle?
“The show is a classic, with some of the best known numbers in the musical theatre canon, including Anything You Can Do and There’s No Business Like Show Business,” explains DAODS’ Pat Walsh. “Those who have seen our shows at the Orchard Theatre before will know to expect the highest level of production values, with a full orchestra and professional lighting and sound, as well as a cast of over 50 adults and children, who will be on stage giving it their all.”
DAODS have been performing at the Orchard Theatre since it opened in 1982. “We typically perform two shows a year: one in the spring and one in the autumn. This production of Annie Get Your Gun will be the third time we’ve staged this show, the second time we’ve performed it at the Orchard Theatre, and our 66th show at the theatre in all.
“In many ways the Orchard’s become our second home, and it gives us the opportunity to put on shows to professional standards, where we can hire professional sets and orchestra as well as lighting and sound. In the last few years we had to cut down to just one show a year at the theatre, with the others being at our own venue of Heathfields Hall. However, we’re glad to say that we’re back to our normal six-monthly cycle, with Made in Dagenham coming up in the spring and Singing in the Rain in October 2017.”
Made in Dagenham marks a particularly exciting time for the Society: “We’ve been incredibly fortunate to be one of the first groups in the South-East to be given the rights to perform this recent West End smash hit show,” says Pat. “It’s a really feel good show, telling the real life story of the Ford workers’ strike in 1968, and is a testament to the power of ordinary people standing up for what’s right.”
Made in Dagenham is a show that requires a large cast of all ages, and auditions to join the Society will be taking place after their current show. To find out about auditions, email email@example.com – DAODS are always looking for new members of all levels of experience.
Book now to catch DAODS’ Annie Get Your Gun at the Orchard Theatre from 5th-8th October.