Review: Calamity Jane

Jodie Prenger as Calamity Jane & Tom Lister as Wild Bill Hickok. Photo by Manuel Harlan

Jodie Prenger & Tom Lister. Photo by Manuel Harlan.

King’s Theatre, Glasgow
Until: Saturday 20th June 2015
Performance reviewed: Tuesday 16th June 2015
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Calamity Jane has blown in from the Windy City to an even windier city for its one week run at Glasgow’s King’s Theatre.

The Watermill Theatre production of the classic Western musical stars Jodie Prenger as the title character, made famous by Doris Day in the 1953 film.

“Calamity Jane can outrun and outshoot any man in Deadwood. Hard, boastful and desperate to impress, she travels to Chicago on the Deadwood Stage to recruit a star, Adelaid Adams. But things don’t go too smoothly for Calamity, as everyone in town favours the new girl and she struggles to keep her jealousy and pride in check. It takes her long standing enemy Wild Bill Hickok to make her see sense, and realise her Secret Love…”

Prenger is nothing short of outstanding – she is endearing and hilarious every moment she is on the stage. Her songs are beautifully sung and her voice has a wonderful power to it. It was a pleasure to watch her perform.

Tom Lister, best known as Carl King on ITV’s Emmerdale, plays Wild Bill Hickok. He is multi-talented – a brilliant singer with a smooth voice (reminding me of Michael Bublé during his rendition of High as a Hawk) and he plays various instruments throughout the show too. By the end, it was not just ‘Calam’ who was in love with him – I know I was too!

Also deserving of a mention is Sophia Ragavelas as Katie Brown, the girl with a dream of being on stage, who finds herself whisked from Chicago to Deadwood by Calamity Jane. Her duet with Prenger of A Woman’s Touch was easily my favourite song of the night.

The set and costumes by Matthew Wright were perfect, taking us around Deadwood and Chicago, with an innovative train and horse and carriage too.

There are so many classic songs in this musical, including Black Hills of Dakota, Secret Love, and Just Blew in From the Windy City and the Glasgow audience took great delight in singing along to their favourite songs from the moment the curtain rose.

The standing ovation at the end was very well deserved and the audience left the theatre ‘high as a hawk’ – so be sure to get to the King’s Theatre to see Calamity Jane before it blows on out of Glasgow to its next stop on the tour.

For tickets visit: Calamity Jane Glasgow tickets.

Calamity Jane returns to Scotland from 14th-18th July where it is in Perth at the Concert Hall. For tickets visit: Calamity Jane Perth tickets.