Wednesday, 8 October 2014

CALAMITY JANE
Nottingham Theatre Royal

Yeehaaw! y'all. Calamity Jane, that tomboy cowgirl rolls into town and spreads fun and song, and just a little mischief in this "sky highest, smile widest, wild 'n' woosiest western musical of 'em all".

Set mainly in the bar room of The Golden Garter in Deadwood, the regulars want a performance from Adelaide Adams, the beauty depicted on the collectable cigarette cards of the time, and the object of everybody’s affections. Jane is going to ‘Chicargi’ to see her and bring her back with her, after the last act to play The Golden Garter, "Frances Fryer" actually turns out to be Francis Fryer, a male act who is definitely no replacement for the lovely Frances they had been expecting!

Jane is too late to catch Adelaide who has left to tour Europe, and due to a case of mistaken identity she asks Adelaide’s maid Katie, to return to Deadwood with her to perform at The Golden Garter. When Katie's cover is blown due to an onset of nerves, Katie wins over the crowd and stays in Deadwood, and in the process wins the heart of Lieutenant Danny Gilmartin away from Jane. Jealousy kicks in with Jane but there is a happy ever after in the end, for more than Jane.

West End regular Jodie Prenger, plays tomboy Jane and boy does she look like she is having a rooting tooting time of it all, she even gets to snog Wild Bill Hickok, played by Tom Lister. Tom, since being killed off in "Emmerdale" has managed to carve a nice career on stage, having recently been seen in Leicester at The Curve Theatre in "The Water Babies - The Musical" among other things.

Some may have worried about placing an ex soapie like Tom in a musical, but many may not know that Tom is also a might fine singer with his own band called "Edna's Hat", and while the band's repertoire may not be of the musical ilk, he can really hold a note, play guitar and percussion as well while on stage.He makes a pretty convincing line dancer as well!

Most of the cast also provide the music for the show, playing their instruments during the show while acting and dancing. And oh the dancing! Some great choreography here by Nick Winston and a brilliant set design by Matthew Wright.

Some great songs in there like "The Deadwood Stage", "The Black Hills Of Dakota"
"I Can Do Without You", "The Windy City", "Higher Than A Hawk" and of course "Secret Love", sang with great emotion by the wonderful Ms Prenger.

You will leave the theatre with at least one of these songs in your head I promise.

"Calamity Jane" is on at the Nottingham Theatre Royal until Saturday 11 October 2014

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