Calamity Jane - performed November 1997

Adapted by Ronald Hanmer and Phil Park from the stage play by Charles K Freeman after the Warner Bros film written by James O'Hanlon. Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. Music by Sammy Fain.

Performed with the kind permission of Joseph Weinberger Ltd.

Director - Dennis Murfitt
Musical Director - Patience Ling


Calamity Jane Amanda Rowe
Wild Bill Hickock Mike Johansen
Lieut: Danny Gilmartin Adrian Bolton
Katie Brown Jo Simons
Henry Miller Nigel Lister
Susan Lesley Mercer
Francis Fryer Dennis Murfitt
Adelaide Adams Kerry King
Rattlesnake Derek Butcher
Doc Pierce / Colonel Bob Wheatley
Flo Thelma Rayment
Stage Door Jonnies / Chorus Terry Cousins
Derek Butcher
Can Can Girls Viv Wheatley
Lisa Prothero
Prospector Martin Rayner
Townsfolk Jane Cousins
Kate Daines
Jenine Collier
Yvonne Cobbold
Darryl Streatfield

Production Team

Patience Ling, Doug Newton, Paul Scott, Bruce Emeny, Maurice Barber, Peggy Barber, Kerry King, Jane Cousins, Dennis Murfitt, Terry Cousins, Vikki Wheatman, Roger Licence, Darryl Streatfield.

The Musical

Energetic musical about the unlikely romance of famed Western tomboy Calamity Jane and gunfighter Wild Bill Hickok. In an attempt to lure a handsome Army lieutenant away from another woman, Jane trades in her gunslinging and uniforms for housekeeping and dresses, and wins the affections of Wild Bill instead.


Jane may have been a calamity in Deadwood, but at the Manifest she has been an outstanding success.
Ever since their formation 20 years ago, the Manningtree-based thespians have gained a reputation for being prepared to tackle anything and they proved it yet again in bravely staging such a well-known show.
But from the moment director Dennis Murfitt appeared in drag, there was never a doubt the audience was in for a very entertaining evening.
The rip roaring musical, set in a wild west frontier town, tells the story of a hard bitten, gun-totin' heroine who tries to behave like a man but cannot help loving like a woman.
There was action and movement throughout the eight scenes and despite the small stage, the players never appeared cramped and the show raced along with all the necessary gusto and flamboyance.
There could not have been a queue of actresses wanting to take on the role of Calamity Jane, which Doris Day so uniquely made her own many years ago.
The part fell to Amanda Rowe, who certainly repaid the faith placed in her. She was on stage most of the time and put in a tremendous and faultless performance.
She was ably backed by the rest of the 20-strong cast and in particular by Mike Johansen as the legendary Wild Bill Hickock.
Lesley Pallett

The promotional material for this show advertised a "rip roaring" musical and it could not have been more right. From the opening chorus to the finale, this performance held the audience and never let it go.
The compact theatre was filled to capacity on this opening night and I suspect everyone left with many happy memories of the evening.
There were two key points to this success, and maybe these are often overlooked. Firstly the musicians, three in number who gave gave quite the most polished performance I have seen for a long time. In total harmony with the cast, they never once tried to play too loud and had sympathy for the needs of the cast.
Secondly was the work of the chorus. Often in shows not noticed, this most workmanlike group almost stole the show. Their singing (without over acting) and general enthusiasm was totally infectious. Here was a chorus who really enjoyed itself.
For the main characters, the show was stolen by Amanda Rowe as the boisterous Calamity who got through an enormous amount of work with much gusto. Ably supported by the droll Mike Johansen as Bill, pretty and ingenious Jo Simons as Katie, these three were most convincing.
Special mention of Dennis Murfitt who not only directed the show but also played Francis Fryer with great humour. His 'drag' routine was a riot.
The set was cleverly constructed, especially the front of tabs scenes and the bar which used the full stage to good effect. Costumes were in keeping with the effect as well.
Jeremy Crawley

Photo Shoot

If you have any photos from this production, then please let us know.