Calamity Jane

Date 28th March 2014
Society Berwick-upon-Tweed Amateur Operatic Society
Venue The Maltings , Berwick on Tweed
Type of Production Musical
Director Mark Pentecost
Musical Director Ron Creasey
Choreographer Sheila Bradford


Author: Jim Graham

I was delighted to stand in for Kathryn Curry to visit Berwick.  This was a classic show in every respect, and is always popular with audiences and Societies alike.  The evening I attended was thoroughly enjoyed by what seemed to be a full house. 

Lynn Ireland, as Calamity Jane, and Steve Sadler, as Wild Bill Hickock, took us right into the heart and atmosphere of Deadwood City.  “The Deadwood Stage”, with Lynn and the Company, was a great introduction to the Show.  Lynn gave a competent performance both vocally and dramatically, playing the part with enthusiasm.  Lynn’s rendition of “My Secret Love” was also very powerful.  Steve Sadler gave us the inevitable love-hate relationship between them even almost to the end and he really shone in the duet “I Can Do Without You”.  He also impressed me with his singing of “Higher Than a Hawk” 

Slink Jadranko, as Lieut. Danny Gilmartin, and Laura Cotterall as Katie Brown, were well suited, and their duet “Love You Dearly” was lovely.  There was a nice little cameo performance from Jackie Kaines Lang as Adelaide Adams.  Simon Landels, as Francis Fryer, provided a solid reliable performance, with Jim Herbert, as Henry Miller, showing a warm and believable character.  The ladies and gentlemen of the chorus looked good, sang and moved and reacted well.  Minor roles were well played – what more could an audience ask?

The music, in the hands of Ron Creasey with his 8-piece orchestra, was well controlled and unobtrusive.  Costumes from Alan Graham were all appropriate, with lighting and staging being handled sensitively.  I also liked seeing Front of House being in costume.

It was also pleasing to note that the Society publicised its success in the NODA Performance Awards of 2013 as part of its programme for the show.  Well done.