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
|Calamity Jane||Amanda Rowe|
|Wild Bill Hickock||Mike Johansen|
|Lieut: Danny Gilmartin||Adrian Bolton|
|Katie Brown||Jo Simons|
|Henry Miller||Nigel Lister|
|Francis Fryer||Dennis Murfitt|
|Adelaide Adams||Kerry King|
|Doc Pierce / Colonel||Bob Wheatley|
|Stage Door Jonnies / Chorus||Terry Cousins
|Can Can Girls||Viv Wheatley
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.