Sunderland child star appearing alongside Jason Donovan in Annie Get Your Gun

Jason Donovan and Norman Pace pictured with Sunderland-born Oliver Blake.
Jason Donovan and Norman Pace pictured with Sunderland-born Oliver Blake.
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A YOUNG actor is giving it to the audience both barrels.

Oliver Blake, 10, is saddling up with stars including Jason Donovan for Wild West musical Annie Get Your Gun.

He’s performing to Sunderland Empire audiences all this week as a new production of the classic musical runs at the venue.

Despite this being the Tunstall youngster’s biggest role to date, he’s taking it all in his stride.

“I don’t really get nervous because you can’t really see the audience when you’re on stage as it’s so dark,” said the Durham Chorister School pupil.

Oliver is playing Little Jake, the brother of leading lady Annie Oakley, the first female sharp-shooter to perform in Buffalo Bill’s famous Wild West shows which toured the globe in the late 19th century.

“He’s a really fun role to play as he’s quite mischievous,” said Oliver.

The budding West End star is sharing the role with James Styles, 10, from Whitley Bay, for the Sunderland leg of the new tour.

Former Neighbours actor turned West End star Jason said the boys are doing a great job of treading the professional boards.

“Wow! Some stars of the future, that’s for sure,” he told the Echo after opening night.

The show also stars Norman Pace, of Hale and Pace fame, as Buffalo Bill and West End star Emma Williams in the eponymous role. Actor and singer Jason plays her love interest and arch-nemesis, Frank Butler.

Speaking about Oliver and James, comedian Norman quipped: “A couple of little scene stealers – I never want to see them again!”

Tracks featured in the show include There’s No Business Like Show Business and Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better.

•Annie Get Your Gun is running at Sunderland Empire until Saturday. Anyone buying tickets for tonight’s show can also attend a post-show Q&A with Emma Williams. Tickets are available from the box office on 0844 871 3022.