Calamity Jane
WINNER - Best Set, Costume and Design (BATS)
29th April - 4th May 2002
Photographs by John Tustin
Production Officials
Director Nora Howcroft
Musical Director Marjorie Hough
Choreographer Lindsay Farnworth
Calamity Jane Vicki Wilson
Bill Hickok Steve Benson
Danny Gilmartin Michael Jaimes
Katie Brown Karen Lunt
Adelaide Adams Shirley Hill
Francis Fryer David Wilson
Henry Miller Don Fairclough
Susan Helen Popplewell
Doc Andrew Turton
Colonel Mike Taylor
Pete Ross Dunning
Hank Robin Foster
Rattlesnake Kevin Ogden
Joe David Witt
Saloon Gals
Barbara Martin (Madame), Sarah Booth, Karen Evans, Julie Kirby, Lisa Oldbury, Ruth Prescott
Jane Bickerstaffe, Lena Brockmann, Alison Buckthorpe, Ann Coleman, Lucy Finney, Doreen Healey, David Jones, Jean Maden, Rita Margiotta, Mary Pycroft, Michelle Sale, Bill Sharples, Maria Sharrocks, Kathy Turton, Joyce Walters, Allan Wilson, Janet Witt
  • Calamity Jane Calamity Jane
  • Calamity and Wild Bill Hickok Calamity and Wild Bill Hickok
  • Adelaide Adams and Katie Brown Adelaide Adams and Katie Brown
  • Francis Fryer meets Calam Francis Fryer meets Calam
  • Wild Bill and saloon men Wild Bill and saloon men
  • Susan and Henry Miller Susan and Henry Miller
  • Calam sings "The Windy City" Calam sings "The Windy City"
  • Francis Fryer Francis Fryer
  • Henry Miller Henry Miller
  • Saloon girls Saloon girls
  • Katie Brown as Adelaide Adams Katie Brown as Adelaide Adams
  • Katie and Calam "A Woman's Touch" Katie and Calam "A Woman's Touch"
  • Townsfolk sing "The Black Hills of Dakota" Townsfolk sing "The Black Hills of Dakota"
  • Calam confronts Danny and Katie Calam confronts Danny and Katie
  • Danny and Katie "Love You Dearly" Danny and Katie "Love You Dearly"
  • Bill, Calam and Danny Bill, Calam and Danny
  • The triple wedding The triple wedding
  • The Company The Company

  • Bolton Evening News Review
  • NODA North West News Review
The Deadwood Stage may well have been coming over the hill from Darwen rather than Dakota but Walmsley AODS were still spot-on with the Wild West theme. Calamity Jane brought some welcome vocal and visual sunshine to a chilly Monday evening, to delight a near-full opening house.

Director Nora Howcroft's experienced hand brought a slick production to a cleverly staged show which even boasts pole-dancing. Musical Director Marjorie Hough and Choreographer Lindsay Farnworth can also take a bow here. The show was a delight, from the familiar opening strains to the super finish.

Fresh-faced Vicki Wilson was excellent in the title role, making the transition from deer-skinned toughie to a gal in a dress with real panache. Karen Lunt and Michael Jaimes as Katie Brown and Lieutenant Danny Gilmartin were well cast as the lovers. But it was Steve Benson's strong, resonant voice in the role of Wild Bill Hickok that was memorable, especially in the charismatic Higher Than A Hawk.

Don Fairclough brought a deft, comic touch as Henry Miller, winning the audience from the first mop of his worried brow. And David Wilson added to the fun as Francis Fryer, the hapless actor who teamed well with Helen Popplewell's sweet Susan.

But, as usual at Walmsley, it is the whole company which impresses, with entertaining singing and dancing in a lavishly-costumed show to delight the eyes as well as the ears. Altogether, pretty darned good.

Angela Kelly
Strangely this does not appear to be a popular show with societies despite it having a plethora of memorable tunes between the "Deadwood Stage" opening and the "Windy City" finale.

This production by Nora Howcroft turned up several good performances and none better than Vicki Wilson in the lead role. She worked very hard to keep up the show's pace, sang with gusto and her sassy, tomboyish interpretation was very pleasing.

Steve Benson was vocally strong with such numbers as 'Higher than a Hawk', delivered his lines with authority and generally contributed well as Wild Bill Hickok. Karen Lunt did well providing the feminine touch as a balance against the feisty 'Calam' whilst, although not being in the top flight of vocalists, putting over her numbers very well.

The part of Danny Gilmartin always seems somewhat subservient to the other larger than life characters and requires a depth of experience and talent to play it correctly. Whilst Michael Jaimes might not yet be at that point he gave a competent performance which did not let the side down.

David Wilson extracted all the comedy elements from the part of Francis Fryer and was ably assisted by Helen Popplewell as Susan. There was a particularly pleasing performance from Don Fairclough as the rather foppish Henry Miller, Shirley Hill gave a good cameo performance as Adelaide Adams and Kevin Ogden was an animated Rattlesnake.

The orchestra under the baton of Marjorie Hough, who kept good control, provided a lively pace which the chorus responded to in the opening number. They also reacted very well to the various situations as they arose whilst the dancers contributed well without breaking any pots in the can-can.

The scenery was up to the society's usual high standard, lighting was effective and the whole production was well received by the capacity audience.

Glyn Neary

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